Mealie meal prices drop further

Prices of essential commodities such as mealie-meal have been reduced further in Chipata district.

A check by Breeze News in some retail shops in the Second Class trading area, found a 25 kilogram bag of mealie-meal for some brands being sold at 70 Kwacha from the previous 93 Kwacha.

Other brands are trading at 73 kwacha from the previous 75 kwacha.

Traders, who did not want to be mentioned, told Breeze News that the prices were reduced last week.

They say the reduction in prices is due to the high supply of maize and low demand from the consumers.

And some consumers are hoping the prices will fall to below 65 kwacha for a 25 kilogram bag of mealie-meal.

Monica Sakala, a resident of Nabvutika Compound, says many people, who are still living in abject poverty cannot afford to buy the mealie-meal at the current prices.

Tax payers told to take advantage of amnesty

The Zambia Revenue Authority ZRA in Eastern Province has urged tax payers to take advantage of the tax Amnesty on interest and penalties.

ZRA Provincial Manager Charles Mbewe says that ZRA has offered an amnesty on interest and penalties arising from late or non-payment of returns and late settlement of tax liabilities due.

Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Mbewe explained the affected tax payers are expected to submit outstanding returns and pay all principal tax liabilities due for tax periods prior to 1st March 2017.

He says that the amnesty means that ZRA has waived 100 per cent all interests and penalties, provided the principal taxes are paid.

And speaking during the same programme, Inspector of Taxes George Muyangwa says all waivers of accrued penalties and interest shall be grunted upon submission of outstanding returns and full settlement of principal tax liabilities.

He stated that tax payers are expected to pay all outstanding principal liabilities within the amnesty period, which comes to an end this month.

Mr. Muyangwa however, explained that in instances where tax payers are not able to settle the principal liability by 31 July, the authority will allow such tax payers to enter into what he described as Time to pay agreement, to enable them settle the outstanding principal liability by 31st December 2017.

He warned that ZRA will roll out its new robust beefed up enforcement programme to recover the taxes when the amnesty period is over.

CSPR backs PS’s strong stance on illegal land allocation

The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, CSPR, has expressed worry with the escalating incidences of illegal land allocation involving some civic leaders.

Provincial CSPR Coordinator, Maxson Nkhoma, says that his organization has been following events in which some civic leaders and political cadres have been giving out private land to new developers in referendum area.

He says the situation is disappointing that some senior officials are involved in illegal land allocation.

Mr. Nkhoma says CSPR in Eastern Province is in full support of the action taken by the permanent secretary, Chanda Kasolo, who called for the arrest of some civic leaders involved in land grabbing from former CH, Contract Haulage workers.

He says police should quickly arrest all those involved in private land grabbing in referendum area so that other people can learn.

Mr. Nkhoma further challenged the Chipata City Council to address matters of improper land allocation in Chipata without further delays.

He says CSPR is currently waiting to see how the council will address illegal land allocation challenges, before considering petitioning the Minister of Lands to invoke the land administering license for Chipata City Council.

Agro dealers waned against supplying expired inputs

Agro dealers, who supply inputs that are expired have been warned against the trend.

Eastern Province Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, CCPC Investigator, Emmanuel Zulu, says farmers have started reporting cases of some agro dealers trying to take advantage of their ignorance to supply them with expired inputs.

Mr. Zulu says action will be taken against all agro dealers, who have continued supplying farmers with inputs that are expired.

He says the positive feedback from farmers shows that there was lack of information among farmers before the sensitisation meetings that where recently conducted by CCPC.

Mr. Zulu has emphasized the need for farmers to be alert and report traders, who are selling expired inputs.