Zambia Road Safety Trust welcomes Kapena bus suspension

The Zambia Road Safety Trust has welcomed the suspension of the Bus Operator license for Kapena Bus Company by the Road Transport and Safety Agency, RTSA.

The license was suspended following the accident, which happened on May 23rd in which 19 people died and 46 others were injured.

In a statement to Breeze FM this morning, Zambia Road Safety Trust communication advisor, Mailos Mwale, says it is pleasing that RTSA has taken a swift and tough action on Kapena Bus Company.

He says the action will act as a deterrent measure to other operators, who are routinely putting the public at risk.

Mr. Mwale says along with this, the trust supports any efforts to improve the effectiveness of the punishments against such operators.

He also advised that frequent road-side inspection checkpoints and random visits at premises, as well as looking for operators and drivers, who are operating illegally, must be done before more lives are lost.

Mr. Mwale also notes that the number of deaths on Zambian roads increased by four per cent from over 2,113 in 2015 to 2,206 in 2016.

He also noted that research has concluded that fleet or company drivers have an increased crash risk compared to privately registered vehicle drivers.

Over 800 e-voucher cards not activated

Eight hundred and fifty-three e-voucher cards for farmers in Mtaya Block have not yet been activated.

This came to light during the 2017 Central Block Agriculture and Commercial Show in Chief Misholo’s Mtaya area.

Gracing the occasion, Chipata May Sinoya Mwale stated that the block received 9,932 cards of which 9,676 were deposited for.

He says that 8,823 cards were activated while 853 cards have not yet been activated. Mr. Mwale explained that this gives 89 per cent success for the block.

The Chipata mayor stated that government will ensure that the remaining inactive cards are activated as soon as possible.

And Mr. Mwale says that he was aware that some cards were activated twice adding that those affected should report to agriculture officers.

He thanked farmers for the bumper harvest to be realised this year despite many challenges like late distribution of farming inputs and crops pests.

The Block Agriculture and Commercial Show was held under the theme “Promoting green economy”.

Mr. Mwale says that theme was well placed as it is line with government’s agenda of creating employment and wealth through diversification in agriculture.

Twelve point eight million Kwacha for road works in Petauke

Government has released 12.8 million kwacha to Condrill Construction Company, to tar three roads in Petauke District.

Petauke District Council Chairperson James Lungu ,told Breeze News that the construction company has already moved on site.

He says the money was released on Tuesday this week.

Mr. Lungu says the construction company will first start working on the 6.5 kilometre Petauke Turnoff-Boma road, then move on to the 4.5 kilometre Minga Stop-Hospital road and finish off with the 6.5 kilometre Kalindawalo-Palace road.

And Mr Lungu says Sable Construction Company has also received money, to continue working on the township roads in the district.

Meanwhile, Sable Construction Company Laboratory Manager in Petauke, Israel Chipunza says that the construction company is expected to commence the works next week.

Sable Construction Company is tarring eighteen township roads in Petauke, at a total cost of about 129 million kwacha

A Dutch national swindled K28,000 in a love affair.

A Dutch national on Thursday told the Chipata Magistrate Court how he was made to pay over 28, 000 Kwacha for child maintenance to two female Zambians for a fake baby.

This is in a case where Bibi Valley and Zubeda Abdulla Valley ,are charged with one count of obtaining money by false pretences.

It is alleged that the duo on unknown dates, but between November 1, 2016 and January 2, 2017 ,jointly and whilst acting together, obtained 28, 100 Kwacha from Richard Portier, claiming that it was for child maintenance.

Portier, said in May 2015, he had a sexual relationship with a lady only known as Michelle and that the two accused persons claimed that they were mother and aunt to her.

He told the court that the duo swindled him a lot of money after he returned to Holland ,when they informed him that Michelle had fallen pregnant and eventually gave birth.

He said that he was disappointed that despite being charged spouse payment and child maintenance, the issue of Michelle having a baby was fake.

And Tite Phiri 48, of Kaulembe in Chief Mshawa’s area told the court that Michelle was her daughter and that her real name was Mary Zulu, who was born in 1988.

She said her daughter was never pregnant during the stated period ,adding that she was disappointed to learn that there were some people, who claimed to be parents of her daughter.

Phiri testified that she never received any money that was paid for spouse payment and child maintenance.

Trial in the matter that is before Principal Resident Jennifer Bwalya continues.

Civil servants abusing beer in Sinda district

Reports have emerged of some civil servants staying away from work, due to excessive beer drinking in Sinda district.

The reports indicate that the trend is more common in rural parts of the district where a local brew, commonly known as Kachasu is being abused.

And when contacted for comment, Sinda District Commissioner Paradious Sakala, acknowledged that increased brewing of Kachasu is contributing to the raise in the number of civil servants drinking alcoholic drinks while on duty.

Mr. Sakala says it is worrying to note that, the beer is being taken to houses of some civil servants.

He challenged communities in the district to stop producing Kachasu, in order to lessen the number of civil servants drinking beer, while on duty.

He says stringent measures need to be put in place to stop the brewing of Kachasu in the communities and end the trend of drinking while on duty.

Kasolo to stop schools turning away pupils

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says he will engage the provincial education office to look at the issue of schools sending away pupils, who delay to pay user fees.

Mr. Kasolo says he is expected to have an audience with provincial education officer, Dr. Allan Lingambe on Monday, to issue instructions where all government schools should stop sending away pupils due to non-payment of school fees.

He says this is because most parents are farmers, who have not yet sold their farm produce.

He said this during The Voice programme on Breeze FM on Saturday morning.

Mr Kasolo, however explained that the directive would not affect private schools.

He, however said he expects that even private schools can be reasonable in the manner they handle the issue on payment of school fees.

He said this after farmers complained that they are facing serious challenges to pay school fees for their children due to delayed opening of crop markets by government.

And Mr. Kasolo, says his office will also discuss with the Ministry of Agriculture, to find solutions on challenges farmers face and quickly come up with prices for the farm produce.

He says farmers are important and should be respected in society, as Zambians are dependent on farmers for food security.

Meanwhile, Christopher Chirwa, a farmer of Chinunda area in Chipata District, says crop diversification will be meaningless if government does not provide market for other farm produce.

Mr. Chirwa says farmers are being exploited every year, because government does not provide market for other crops such as soya beans, sunflower and cotton.

He also noted that the delay in buying of maize by government contributes to farmers being exploited by private buyers, who offer low prices.

A Patriotic Front cadre acquitted of defaming President Edgar Lungu.

A Patriotic Front PF Party cadre of Chipata district, accused of defaming President Edgar Lungu has been acquitted.

John Ngoma, is alleged to have committed the offence on March 30th 2017, at Kapata market.

He was later dragged to Kapata police post by fellow PF youths, who are said to be in the provincial security team.

It is alleged that Ngoma, used insulting words against the president.

Chipata resident magistrate, Boniface Mwala, acquitted Ngoma for reasons that the prosecution failed to prove the case against the accused person.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Mwala reprimanded three of Ngoma’s friends, for wildly celebrating inside the court, while she was still reading the ruling.

The three apologised before the court.

The magistrate warned that the behaviour they exhibited was uncalled for, because it disturbed court proceedings.

Barclays PLC no longer controlling shareholder of Barclays Africa.

Barclays PLC is no longer the controlling shareholder of Barclays Africa.

This follows the decision by Barclays PLC to reduce its shareholding in Barclays Africa from 50.1 per cent to 23.4 per cent.

Managing Director, Mizinga Melu says that the Public Investment Corporation PIC is set to take up an additional 7 per cent of the shares at a later date subject to regulatory approvals.

In a statement availed to Breeze News, Ms. Melu says that this will further reduce Barclays PLC shareholding to 16.4 per cent.

And Ms. Melu says that despite Barclays PLC not being the main shareholder in Barclays Africa, it will support Barclays Africa throughout the sell-down and operational separation processes.

She says that in the coming weeks and months, the bank will provide further information as the process of separation between the two companies unfolds.

Meanwhile Ms. Melu says that as part of the separation agreement between Barclays PLC and Barclays Africa, Barclays Africa will continue to use the Barclays brand in Africa for up to three years.

She says that this means that Barclays Africa will have three years to build a strong, Africa focused brand, with a massive opportunity.

Government warns illegal gold miners in Petauke

Illegal Gold Miners allegedly digging gold in Chikowa area of Petauke District have been warned of stern action.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says illegal gold miners will not be spared because they do not have permits to conduct the business.

Speaking during a press briefing at his office yesterday, Mr Kasolo says those who will be found in the illegal activity, will be taken to court.

He says it is illegal for people to start mining, when they only have prospecting licence because a prospecting licence only allows interested individuals to go to an area and investigate, if the area has minerals or not

He says his office is aware of some foreign nationals from neighbouring countries who do not have permits and are buying gold in the area.

Mr Kasolo says at the moment, no one has a valid mining licence adding that this is why it is important for law enforcers to do their work.

He has dismissed allegations that some officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife beat up illegal gold miners in Chikowa area during an operation they conducted recently.

Camp Agricultural Committee leaders directed to release e-voucher cards

Camp Agricultural Committee CAC leaders in Chipata have been directed to give back the E-Vouchers cards to the owners or face criminal charges.

District Agriculture Coordinator Michael Ngulube issued the directive when he addressed farmers in Madzi A-Tuba resettlement scheme.

Mr Ngulube told the farmers that the E-Voucher cards were personal to holders, which do not need to be kept by anyone but the owner.

He said the period of E-Voucher cards is not yet over as a farmer can use it to buy goats, cattle, chickens, ploughs and many other farm implements.

Mr Ngulube added that the 31st March deadline, which farmers were being given, was for the government to deposit money in the banks.

He further said that Eastern Province is remaining with 1,529 E-Voucher cards, which have not been activated.

Mr Ngulube said that in terms of performance on E-Voucher distribution, Chipata District has performed well at 95 percent.