Chipata City Council starts connecting traffic lights

The local authority in Chipata District has started connecting the traffic lights to ZESCO, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation line.

Chipata City Council Director of Engineering, Costen Mvula says a cable that was vandalised on the Umodzi Highway was connected over the weakened, and that testing of the traffic signals was done.

Mr. Mvula says that all the traffic lights on the three junctions, Church, Parirenyatwa and Nasser roads are being connected to ZESCO lines.

He says the traffic lights will be operationalized soon once connections are concluded.

He says the council has faced a number of challenges because some cables were vandalised, a situation he described as worrying.

Government formulating a marriage act to curb early marriages.

The Ministry of Gender and Child Development says it is in the process of formulating a marriage act.

Gender Minister, Victoria Kalima, says the formation of the marriage act will help clarify who a child is and will reduce cases of early marriages.

Speaking during a live program on Breeze FM, Ms. Kalima explained that in some instances, a person is taken to be a child when she is below the age of 16, while the constitution describes a child as anyone below the age of 18.

Ms. Kalima, who is also Kasenengwa Member of Parliament, says her ministry will ensure that a girl child is protected from all forms of violence.

She says government is also looking at ways of criminalising child marriage.

Ms. Kalima says parents and guardians, who are perpetrators of the vice, will be prosecuted.

She further indicated that government is contemplating banning some initiation ceremonies, which are contributing to high cases of early marriages.

Sinda Day Secondary School to start operating in 2018

The thirty-eight million Kwacha Sinda Day Secondary school will be operational in January next year.

Eastern Province Education Officer Allan Lingambe says he is confident that though the infrastructure at the learning institution is not yet fully complete, it will be ready to be operationalized by January.

He says that all the 27 staff houses and ten classrooms have already been done and that the only works such as electric fittings and paintings are yet to be done.

Dr. Lingambe also notes that the assembly hall, the sick bay and part of the administration block have not yet been completed.

He states that the contractor Zhong Mei Construction Company is currently carrying out some finishing works on the project.

Dr. Lingambe said the school is already gazetted and 25 teachers and elven general workers have already been employed but have been temporarily re-deployed to other schools waiting for the school to be ready.

He observes that the school whose works started in 2010 has delayed to be completed due to delayed payments by Government.


Government to get support to rehabilitate theatre in Petauke

Government will receive financial support for the rehabilitation of the theatre, at Petauke district hospital which is currently in a deplorable state.

Eastern Province Medical Director Abel Kabalo says JHPIEGO and SIDA, the Swedish International Development Authority, have declared interest to support the rehabilitation of the theatre.

He says that the hospital requires a total of 400, 000 Kwacha for full rehabilitation and that the two partners will only support the rehabilitation of the theatre.

He stated that the Bill of Quantity, BOQ is being done and that a contractor is soon expected to move on site.

And Dr. Kabalo, says that there is need to rehabilitate other infrastructure, such as the wards and dental department, to ensure that the health facility continues to operate as a hospital.

Dr. Kabalo noted that Petauke hospital, has been experiencing operational problems due to the dilapidated state of the infrastructure, which was constructed in the 1960s.

And Petauke Medical Superintendent Ireen Chanda, explained that the roof of the facility is on the verge of collapsing, with some leakages on a number of water pipes.

Dr. Chanda stated the hospital, which has been in existence for over 50 years without major infrastructure renovation and replenishing, needs immediate attention.



Twelve farmers nabbed for cultivation of over two tonnes of cannabis.

The Drug Enforcement Commission, DEC has arrested twelve small scale farmers of Mambwe District for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing over two tonnes.

In a press statement this morning, DEC says the farmers were arrested in separate incidences.

In Simukonda Village, Moses Phiri, 23, Mambwe Phiri, 42, and John Banda, 42, were arrested for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 1.07 tonnes.

Others arrested and jointly charged are Robson Banda, 42, and Falesi Mbewe, 35, for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 395 kilograms.

Lameck Banda, 42, and his wife Eletina Jere, 36, have been arrested for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 392 kilograms.

Kelvin Jere, 34, and Eliness Banda, 35, have also been arrested for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 375 kilograms.

Also arrested is Able Banda, 46 and Godwin Phiri, 65, for unlawful cultivation of fresh cannabis plants weighing 150 and 110 kilograms of cannabis respectively.

The commission has also arrested a number of people in Western and Lusaka Provinces. All suspects will appear in court soon.

Government clarifies that routine HIV testing is not mandatory.

The Ministry of Health has clarified that no health care giver has the right to initiate HIV testing without consent from patients.

Provincial, ART, Anti-Retroviral Therapy technical officer, Michael Muzombo, says that patients must give consent, even when the testing is done through health giver initiated testing.

Mr. Muzombo says that testing a patient without his or her knowledge is against health regulations and patients have the right to report to authorities.

This was during a live debate on Breeze FM.

And PACA, Provincial Aids Coordination Advisor Emmanuel Chama encouraged people to go for HIV testing.

He said this is the only way people will know their status and get information on how to live a healthy life, whether positive or negative.

And representing the Church, Pastor Chris Mulunda encouraged people not to view with negativity, the testing which is initiated by health care givers.

Pastor Chris said that it is important for patients to allow health care givers to do their work and carry out tests deemed necessary.

He said this is the only way health care givers will know exactly what is wrong with patients and administer the right drug.

During the debate, people also raised issues on the rise in the number of traditional healers that are busy telling people that they can cure many diseases including HIV/AIDS.

Others also said something needs to be done on churches and religious leaders that discourage people from taking drugs and seeking health care services.

Government challenged to address children’s needs.

A traditional leader in Chipata District has called on government to address challenges school going children face in their respective communities.

Speaking during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child yesterday, Chief Kapatamoyo of the Ngoni people, says children, especially those in rural areas, face a number of challenges, which should be addressed by government.

And the traditional leader says parents and guardians have a big role to play in transforming their children into responsible citizens.

He says the trend of marrying off girls at a tender age, should be condemned by well-meaning Zambians.

The traditional leader says marrying off children at a tender age, has greatly affected their wellbeing, a trend which should be stopped immediately.

And a grade seven pupil of Nyakutwa Primary School, Thandiwe Khosa, says the plight of children, especially a girl child can be safeguarded if they are educated.

Thandiwe says issues affecting children such as early marriages, will be reduced if many children are educated and empowered.

Construction works of 11 dip tanks have stalled.

Construction works of eleven dip tanks have stalled in Eastern Province due to government’s delay in paying money to the contractors.

Provincial Veterinary Officer, Author Mumbolomena, told Breeze News that the 11 dip tanks are out of the 66 whose construction works started in 2014.

He says the department has not yet paid the contractors for part of the works done on the dip tanks.

Dr. Mumbolomena says construction works for the 11 dip tanks will resume as soon as the department receives the remaining project funds from government.

He, however, did not disclose how much money government owes contractors for the construction of dip tanks.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mumbolomena says construction works on over 55 dip tanks, have been completed at a cost of about six million Kwacha.

He says all the completed dip tanks are operational across the region.

Dr. Mumbolomena says the construction of dip tanks across Eastern Province ,will assist curb East Coast fever and other tick borne diseases, which are common in cattle.

Nurse in Sinda fired for stealing drugs

The Ministry of Health in Eastern Province has fired a nurse from Sinda district after being convicted by the court for pilferage or stealing hospital drugs.

Provincial Medical Director, Abel Kabalo says the province has recorded cases of pilferage in Sinda and Lundazi districts.

Dr. Kabalo says he also has reports that some of the medicines from hospitals are being used in chicken runs, which is not a good thing.

Dr. Kabalo says the province has a challenge of test kits resulting from such acts of pilferage.

He was speaking when addressing pharmacists in Chipata this morning as they start the commemoration of Pharmacy awareness week.

Dr. Kabalo urged the pharmacists to guard medicines jealously so that they can sustain their intended purpose of saving the community.

He says it is the duty of Pharmacists and other medical personnel to be pharmaceutical vigilant to avoid pilferages.

And Eastern Province Principal Pharmacist, Joseph Lungenda, says pharmacists in Chipata are commemorating the week by sensitizing the community in Chipata on the dangers of drug abuse.

Mr. Lungenda noted with concern the abuse of antibiotics by people, who treat themselves with drugs without prescription from medical personnel.

UPND urges government to announce maize floor price

The opposition UPND, United Party for National Development in Eastern Province has challenged government to announce the maize floor price.
Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary, Victor Mbuzi told Breeze News that government through FRA, the Food Reserve Agency should quickly announce the maize floor price in order for farmers to have a choice of where to sale their produce.
Mr Mbuzi says the issue of moisture content cannot prevent government from announcing the maize floor price.
He says FRA should offer a price of not less than 100 kwacha for a 50 kilogram bag of maize, so that farmers cover the cost used during their farming activities.
And Mr Mbuzi alleged that the statement that government will reduce the number of buying depots in this year’s marketing season will disadvantage some farmers, who will be subjected to walking long distances to the markets.
And Mr Mbuzi says the prices currently offered to farmers by private buyers on some crops such as soya beans are a mockery.
He says private buyers are swindling farmers by offering low prices because government does not buy other farm produce such as soya beans, sunflower and groundnuts.