Local contractors complain of delayed payment

Local contractors, who constructed the local court in Sairi Chiefdom in Chipata, have complained over non-payment.

Jabesi Zulu one of the affected contractors says that they have not been paid their money since 2012.

He says the contractors have tried making follow ups from the council, but nothing positive has been done.

Mr. Zulu says the response they have been getting from the local authority is that the money for the project under CDF, Constituency Development Fund was used during political campaigns in last year’s general elections.

He said this when Chipata Mayor, Sinoya Mwale held a developmental meeting in the area.

And Chipata Mayor Sinoya Mwale says he will engage relevant authorities to find out why the contractors have not been paid their money.

Second shopping mall opens in Chipata

The second Shopping Mall has officially opened in Chipata City.

And Chipata City Council Mayor, Sinoya Mwale, says government will continue partnering with business entities to invest in the district.

Speaking during the official opening of the second shopping mall this morning, Mr. Mwale says the presence of foreign companies, has greatly contributed to reduction of unemployment levels across the district.

He says government is committed to ensuring that employment and wealth creation are part of the developmental process for the people of Zambia.

Mr. Mwale says the coming of new business players in the district will also empower local producers, manufacturers and small scale farmers.

The event, which attracted a number of people, was characterized by local dances.

Husband kills wife and lover

Police in Lusaka have arrested a 33 years old man for murdering his wife and her alleged boyfriend.

Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo has confirmed the incident to Breeze News.

Ms. Katongo says that Peter Siwale, a clearing agent in Nakonde of Muchinga Province also of Lusaka’s Mean wood Phase 2 area, shot dead his wife, Charity Namuko aged 30 together with a man identified as Andrew Chibesa aged 27, whom he suspected to have been having an affair with his wife.

She says that the incident happened yesterday between 18 and 19 hours in Mean wood.

Ms. Katongo explains that the suspect trailed the victims, who are both teachers at a named school in Kaunda Square to some place in Mean wood using a friends’ motor vehicle where he saw them in a romantic state.

She says that Siwale then picked the two and took them to his home where he is alleged to have shot both of them dead in the presence of his children.

Ms. Katongo says that Siwale’s wife sustained a wound on the right shoulder and right side of the chest while the other victim sustained a wound on the left side of the chest.

The suspect later went to the neighbour’s house with the children and requested that he be taken to the police.

The police spokesperson says that a pump action shotgun has been recovered from the scene, with three empty cartridges.

The suspect is detained in Police custody while the bodies of the deceased are in UTH mortuary awaiting post-mortem.

Senior police officer in trouble over Mukula

Police in Eastern Province have launched investigations in a case where an Officer-In-charge for Chadiza District is implicated in a matter where 500 logs of Mukula allegedly went missing.

Eastern Province Police Deputy Commissioner Sharon Zulu confirmed this to journalists yesterday.

Ms. Jere however, indicated that she is not aware if the officer-in-charge has been arrested but that investigations are underway.

She says police officers from Eastern Division are the ones investigation the matter.

According to reports, 500 Mukula logs, which were discovered by police in January this year, went missing, and that suspects, who were appearing in court had to be discharged.

Meanwhile in another development, the Deputy Police Commissioner says that a man was found dead in a maize field in Katopola farms in Chipata District.

She says that the unidentified man, who is between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, was found around 09 hours on Wednesday.

She says stones were found on the scene, where the victim was found, and that he had some bruises on his head.

Mrs. Zulu says the body was deposited in Chipata Central Hospital Mortuary waiting for identification by his relatives.

She says that police have launched an investigation in the suspected murder case.

Water challenge hits Lumezi Constituency

A serious challenge of safe drinking water has hit most parts of Lumezi Constituency in Lundazi district.

This has forced area Member of Parliament Pilila Mwanza Jere to team up with other MPs for Lundazi and Chasefu to address the problem, which has also affected their constituencies.

Speaking to Breeze News, Mrs. Jere says that the three MPs have also agreed with Lundazi District Council to drill as many boreholes as possible to alleviate the situation.

She says that almost all the streams in Lumezi Constituency have dried up, forcing people to walk more than 5 kilometers in order to access water.

The former provincial education officer says that this has affected girls and boys from attending school as they have to stay home to assist their parents draw water.

She says that the challenge of water needs to be addressed quickly to avoid a situation where pupils miss out on lessons, which will eventually affect their academic performance.

MMD challenges government on maize floor price

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The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD has challenged government to explain clearly how it arrived at the maize floor price of 60 Kwacha for a 50 kilogramme bag.

MMD National Chairperson for Agriculture Chishala Chilufya says that government should further assist farmers by providing information on maize production costs for last season.

Speaking to Breeze News, Mr. Chilufya says that it is important for government to realise that not all farmers benefited from the government subsidised inputs.

He says that farmers, who used their own resources to buy inputs which were fetching between 250 and 300 Kwacha will not make profit from the 60 Kwacha buying price.

Mr. Chilufya says that instead of frustrating farmers, government should ensure that the interest of farmers is protected by giving them a good buying price.

Announcing the maize floor price yesterday, FRA Food Reserve Agency Board Chairperson, Joe Simachela said that prices for this year’s marketing season was as a result of prevailing regional prices in view of the good harvests expected from Zambia’s traditional export markets such as Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

Mr. Simachela, stated that the FRA market price will not in any way disadvantage the private sector, who are expected to purchase a larger share of the 3.6 million metric tonnes of maize produced.

Last season, the FRA was buying a 50 kilogramme bag of maize at 85 Kwacha.

 

Chanida water project near completion

About 200 people in Chanida border in Chadiza District will soon be connected to water supply from EWSC, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.

EWSC Managing Director Layton Kanowa, says the installation of water pumps and construction of kiosks and ablution blocks at a total cost of 15.7 million Kwacha, is expected to be completed in the next three weeks.

Mr. Kanowa says the project which is at 90 percent is aimed at providing more people with safe drinking water in the province.

Speaking when Chadiza Member of Parliament Salatiel Tembo toured the project yesterday, Mr. Kanowa says the company still needs support from government to connect more people, because the supply of the water in the area will attract more developers.

Mr. Kanowa says the company needs about 3 million kwacha to cover more than 450 people in Chanida area.

Mr. Kanowa further indicated that the company has a deficit of about 40 percent of potential customers in Eastern Province, who not connected to the utility company’s water supply system.

And Chadiza Member of Parliament Salatiel Tembo says he will engage relevant authorities to lobby for resources for the completion of the project.

Mr. Tembo says the works done by the company will greatly help people in Chanida border area, who are having challenges in accessing safe drinking water.

He says more developmental projects are expected to be implemented due to the reliable supply of water by the utility company in the area.

K60 maize floor price irk farmers

Chipata District Farmers Association CDFA has described as a mockery the 60 Kwacha maize floor price for a 50 kilogramme bag, announced by FRA, the Food Reserve Agency.

CDFA Coordinator, Virgil Malambo says that the price does not make business sense especially that last season FRA bought the maize at 85 Kwacha.

Mr. Malambo says that although there is over production of Zambia’s staple food, the cost of producing the maize was high because of high prices for fertilizer.

He says that government should revisit its decision to assist farmers, who might lose out because of the high production cost.

Mr. Malambo doubted if the farmers can use the 60 Kwacha maize floor price to bargain for a better buying price, with private companies, who are buying the crop at 75 Kwacha for a 50 kilogramme bag.

And Mr. Malambo has advised farmers to start diversifying from growing maize to other crops to avoid such disappointment.

He says that the farmers should also think of adding value to their maize crop like producing mealie meal and stock feed for chickens and livestock.

Forty-five foreigners illegal miners arrested in Petauke district.

Forty-five foreigners have been arrested in Chief Sandwe’s area of Petauke district on suspicion of engaging in illegal gold mining.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, told journalists at a media briefing in Chipata, that 16 of those arrested have been deported, while 29 are detained in Chipata district.

He says the foreigners were working with local people in mining and buying of gold in a Game Management Area, GMA.

Mr. Kasolo also said a number of Zambians are appearing in court over illegal mining in the area.

He said government will continue monitoring illegal mine activities in all places where it is happening until it comes to an end.

Mr. Kasolo, however, noted that illegal mining activities have reduced in Chief Mwanya’s area in Lundazi district, following the reduction of water levels in streams used to clean the gold.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kasolo has announced that a local company has been granted a prospecting license in gold mining in Chief Mwanya’s area in Lundazi district.

He said the company has partnered with a Chinese investor and will soon start exploration of gold.

Mr. Kasolo says that the investor has pledged to support the local community in various ways.

He says next week, the investor will start constructing a 92 kilometer road from Mwanya to Chitungulu area at cost of 14 million Kwacha.

Mr. Kasolo said this is good for the people of Mwanya, as the road is in a deplorable state and the area is often cut off during the rainy season.

Meanwhile, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, has warned people building on land belonging to retired Contract Haulage, CH employees that they risk losing their investments.

He said that a legal process has commenced and very soon, the illegal structures will be brought down.

Mr. Kasolo advised the developers against building on the land, which he said was acquired illegally and warned all those involved in the illegal allocation of land that they will face the wrath of the law.

And Mr. Kasolo said he has started legal proceedings against people that have accused him of pocketing monies from the land.

He says the people have to provide proof on their allegations.

The permanent secretary said during a press briefing in Chipata that those engaged in the illegal allocation of the private land, have been accusing him of pocketing monies realized from the sale of the property, belonging to the defunct Contract Haulage retirees.

A 45 year old man arrested for defiling minor

A 45 year old man of Chipata District has been arrested for allegedly defiling a five year old girl.

Eastern Province Police Deputy Commissioner, Sharon Zulu says the suspect John Njobvu of Mchenga Compound in Chipata is currently in police custody.

She says the incident happened on Sunday, adding that the police are yet to confirm the relationship between the juvenile and the suspect.

She says the accused is expected to appear in court soon.

And the Police Deputy Commissioner says a 14 year old juvenile of Mtema village in Chief Madzimawe’s area in Chipata, committed suicide by hanging.

She says the body of Pangulani Banda was discovered hanging on a tree on Friday.