TBZ will not be forced to open M’gubudu floor

Government says it cannot interfere with the running affairs of TBZ, the Tobacco Board of Zambia.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says TBZ has a mandate to run the affairs of tobacco in buying tobacco.

Mr. Kasolo told Breeze News that his office can only appeal to TBZ to open the market at M’gubudu and start buying tobacco from Independent Tobacco Growers in the province.

He says he sympathizes with independent tobacco farmers who are still waiting for TBZ to open M’gubudu floor for them to sale their crop.

The Permanent Secretary hopes TBZ will quickly act on the calls by farmers to open the market as he has already discussed the issue with them.

Recently, Independent Tobacco Growers had appealed to the office of the Permanent Secretary to intervene in the matter.

The farmers said their potential buyer, Mtonda General Dealers, gave them a condition that he can only start buying their tobacco when TBZ opens Mgubudu floor.

Nyau dancers beat up mother and son

Chieftainess Mkanda of the Chewa people has dismissed reports that Nyau dancers are allegedly beating up people and stealing their domestic animals in Mbuluma Village.

This follows complaints that the Nyau dancers, who have been assigned to stop people from cutting down trees indiscriminately in the forest, are victimising and beating up people while confiscating their domestic animals.

The traditional leader says people in Mbuluma village are indiscriminately cutting down trees, a situation, which has led to deforestation.

She told Breeze News that the whole village has been summoned to her palace several times over the matter but they have continued cutting down trees for charcoal production.

She says allegations that Nyau dancers were beating innocent people and stealing their domestic animals are false.

The traditional leader explained that charcoal producers, who are complaining of being assaulted, were found with bags of charcoal, an axe and hoes and decided to run away by seeking refuge in the nearby village.

However, one of villagers, Misheck Chaponda, says the Nyau dancers entered his poultry house and picked six chickens without his authority on Saturday.

Mr. Chaponda complained that when he attempted to inquire from the leader of the Nyau dancers why his chickens were picked, he was instead beaten up and dragged to Chieftainess Mkanda, who ruled that the matter be sorted out at the Nyau dancer’s camp, locally known as “Dambwe”.

Mr. Chaponda who availed a police medical report to Breeze News, claimed that the Nyau dancers, who also beat his mum and stole 2,500 Kwacha from his pocket.

And Naomi Mwale, the mother to Chaponda says she was also beaten by the Nyau dancers for trying to stop them from beating her son.

Over 4,000 teachers needed to address shortage

Over 4,000 teachers are needed to address the staffing challenges in most schools in Eastern Province.

Provincial Education Officer, Allan Lingambe told Breeze News that this year’s teacher recruitment exercise will not completely address staffing challenges in the province because the shortfall is huge.

Dr. Lingambe says government will this year recruit 3,000 teachers countrywide, meaning Eastern province will be given a share of the number based on the ratios, which will not be enough.

Dr. Lingambe says the province has challenges of teachers specialized in Business Studies, Science, Mathematics, ICT Information Communication Technology and Zambian Language.

He says the teacher recruitment exercise, which starts this month will just cushion the shortage of teachers the province is facing.

Water levels at Lutembwe Dam One and Two still stable

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company might not face similar challenges of last year in supplying water to its clients due to drying up of water plants.

Company Managing Director, Lyton Kanowa says that water levels at Lutembwe Dam One and Two still look stable.

Speaking to Breeze News, Mr. Kanowa stated that spillways at both dams were still spilling, an indication, that the water levels are still high.

He says that this is unlike last year during the same period, when Lutembwe Dam One had already shown signs of drying up.

Mr. Kanowa explained that the company has no problem with Lutembwe Dam Two but will need to monitor Lutembwe Dam One, which was seriously affected last year.

He stated that it was most likely that the two dams would survive the dry season and keep a constant supply of the commodity to customers.