Cargill to cease operations in Chipata

Cargill has reached an agreement with Parrogate Ginnery Limited to purchase Cargill’s cotton gin, maize mill as well as land, buildings and equipment associated with Cargill’s operations in Chipata.

The transaction is subject to clearance by the relevant competition authorities.

Brendon de Boer, who is Regional Lead for Cargill’s Agricultural Supply Chain Business in sub-Sahara Africa confirmed to Breeze News.

Mr. de Boer says that in Parrogate Ginnery Limited., Cargill has found a buyer, who will secure a future for the cotton and maize operations in Chipata.

He says that Parrogate’s extensive experience with cotton origination and ginning operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, as well as its considerable network in the region will allow it to successfully continue operations in Chipata.

Mr. de Boer says that once the transaction is completed, Parrogate will run the cotton gin and maize mill as a viable business operation, providing cotton seed to farmers and buying cotton for the gin from the local communities.

He says that Cargill’s other business activities in Zambia are not impacted by this transaction and the company will continue to operate normally.

ZCF says solar milling plants are not political

The Zambia Corporative Federation, ZCF has laughed off thoughts by some people and organizations that the setting up of solar milling plants in various parts of the country was a political project.

ZCF Executive Director, James Chirwa, says the project was purely meant to help cooperatives to have a source of income and has no connection to politics.

Mr. Chirwa says if the project was political and meant to help the ruling PF win elections, by now, ZCF would have stopped bringing more machines from China.

He also clarified that the makeup of the solar milling plant is that it uses direct sunlight and does not need batteries.

Mr. Chirwa says during the planning, it was discovered that if the plants were to have a provision of using batteries, they would be more expensive and unaffordable to cooperatives.

However, this is different from what authorities in Eastern Province have been telling cooperatives, as they have assured that the Chinese have been engaged so that the batteries are supplied.

Recently, it has come out that most of the solar milling plants have struggled to operate, with many failing to even pay salaries for operators.

EWSC told to adhere to the water quality monitoring guidelines

The National Water Supply and Sanitation Council NWASCO has called on Eastern Water and Sewerage Company to adhere to the water quality monitoring guidelines in order to ensure that water supplied to the residents is clean and safe.

NWASCO Public Relations and Communications Manager Mpunga Chipepo Simukwai says Eastern Water and Sewerage Company has not been displaying the quarterly water quality results as required in the Water Quality Monitoring Guidelines.

Ms. Simukwai notes that despite improvements in hours of supply in most towns, improved record keeping and maintaining average collection efficiency of above 95 per cent, there are areas that need attention.

Ms. Simukwai says the Commercial utility did not comply with the NWASCO directive to ring fence the meter charge by ensuring that new meters are bought and the faulty ones repaired.

She was speaking after the completion of the Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Annual inspection
Ms. Simukwai also adds that Non-Revenue Water was on the rise despite the utility being 100 per cent metered with a relatively new network.

In addition, it was observed that 3,074 customers remained unbilled as at July, 2017 resulting in loss of revenue by the utility.

Additionally, load shedding continued in Lundazi that might lead to loss of water supply for over 8 hours.

MMD attacks UPND over prayer service

The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD has described the thanksgiving and prayer service held for UPND President, Hakainde Hichilema’s release from jail as political.

MMD National Chairperson for Agriculture, Chishala Chilufya says that the UPND should stop using the church to push its political agenda.

Mr. Chilufya told Breeze News that all the people who attended the prayer service were UPND sympathisers.

He charged that no one from strong opposition political parties including the ruling PF was allowed to attend the prayer service.

Mr. Chilufya says that Mr. Hichilema owes Zambians an apology for how his motorcade behaved against the presidential motorcade in Mongu during the Kuomboka ceremony.

Speaking during the prayer service, the UPND leader said that he had forgiven all those that were involved in his brutal arrest and incarceration.

Mr. Hichilema called on his supporters and Zambians as a whole to put aside all the hate they might have over what transpired in the recent past for the sake of unity.

Seven jailed 25 years for aggravated robbery

Seven men involved in the aggravated robbery that took place in Mwami Border area in Chipata last year, have been sentenced to 25 years each, by the Chipata High Court this morning.

Facts before the court are that the convicts, on October 14th 2016, attacked Godfrey Sakala, at his residence in Mwami border area and robbed him of his property which includes a vehicle, a pistol and money.

The convicts are Steven Mafuta, Michael Lungu, Emmanuel Mulenga, Oliva Banda, Ricker Ndila Masudu, Royd Mutuku and Kingson Phiri.

Lusaka based Judge Maria Mapani Kawimbe, said after a serious evaluation on the matter, the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convicts have been found guilty to the offence because there was overwhelming evidence linking them to the crime.

And before mitigation, the state made an application stating that Steven Mafuta and Emmanuel Lungu, who were sentenced for different offences escaped from custody last year.

Chipata Correctional Facility Chief Inspector Costa Hangoma told the court that Mafuta was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with hard labor on one count of aggravated robbery, while Lungu was sentenced to 5 years, on one count of burglary and theft.

Mr. Hangoma said the two escaped from custody in July last year.

And legal Aid Counsel Sally Fales Bwalya asked the court to exercise leniency, as all the accused were remorseful of their actions and that they are still young.

In delivering judgment, Judge Kawimbe said the court heard the mitigation but the offence the convicts committed is a felony and that there was overwhelming evidence linking them to the robbery case.

She sentenced them to 25 years each, effective from the day of their arrest, on November 4th 2016.

She advised them to appeal to the Supreme court of they are not satisfied with the judgment.

Meanwhile, relatives of the convicts could not hold on to their emotions as they broke down after the ruling.

Government committed to international relations

President Edgar Lungu says Zambia attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with all countries that have their mission in the country.

He says the relations with friendly countries are based on mutual respect, trust and cooperation.

President Lungu said this at State House this morning when he received letters of credence from new ambassadors and high commissioners to Zambia from various countries.

He expressed confidence that the new ambassadors and high commissioners will further enhance the existing warm relations between Zambia and their countries.

President Lungu says Zambia has a common mission with other countries of fostering economic development to improve the living standards of people.

He also says Zambia is ready to learn and share agricultural practices, while improving bilateral trade.

Among those, who presented their letters of credence are Bossom Assmoi Desire, ambassador of Ivory Coast, André Nzapayeke,  ambassador of the Central African Republic,  Jean Pierre Jmumun, high commissioner of the Mauritius and, Margaret Ekua Prah, high commissioner of Ghana.

Others are Michael Gerard Burrell, High commissioner of New Zealand, Kim Chang Ryop, ambassador of the Republic of Korea and Dr. Waleed Hasan, ambassador of Palestine.

Chadiza residents approve proposed water tariff increase

Residents of Chadiza district have approved the proposed water tariff adjustment of 54 per cent by Eastern Water and Sewerage Company for the year 2018.

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director, Lytone Kanowa said the increase in tariffs will help the company to meet the cost of doing business that has been brought about due to the high cost of production.

Mr. Kanowa said the major reason for the tariff adjustment is the high cost of ZESCO power, which translates into high cost of production.

He said Eastern Water and Sewerage Company is also determined to improve the failing billing system and sustain the water quality standards in the region.

The Managing Director was speaking in Chadiza District during a stakeholder’s consultative meeting.

Meanwhile, Chadiza District Commissioner George Phiri has called on Eastern Water and Sewerage Company to properly manage the water source at Nsadzu Dam and bar all forms of gardening that is taking place along the Nsadzu stream.

Mr. Phiri also challenged the water utility company to come up with plans concerning the source of water in the district adding that Nsadzu dam, which was the main water source was becoming shallow due to silt.

Chipata council directed to stop illegal land developers

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, has instructed the local authority in Chipata, to write notices to illegal developers in Referendum area, to start demolishing their structures.

Mr. Kasolo says this is to ensure the process involved before demolishing an illegal structure, is followed.

Speaking to journalists at his office yesterday, the Permanent Secretary says if the council does not give notices to the affected people, he will take further steps on the matter.

He says he has already discussed with Local Government Minister, Vincent Mwale, who has given him a go ahead in demolishing the structures.

Mr. Kasolo says being the chairperson of the provincial planning authority, he expects the council to act within seven days.

He says selling land illegally to people in the name of helping the poor, is criminal trespass, according to the laws of Zambia.

Mr. Kasolo says if the affected people are hesitant to demolish their structures, a bulldozer will be sent to destroy the structures adding that the developers will be made to pay the cost of carrying out the exercise.

Council workers warned against poor working culture

Chipata City Mayor, Sinoya Mwale, has expressed disappointment over the poor working culture by council workers.

The mayor has cautioned that he will not tolerate laziness among council workers.

Mr. Mwale says development cannot be delivered to people, if the working culture among workers is poor

Mr. Mwale has directed town clerk, Davies Musenge, to make sure there is an improvement on this matter.

He was speaking during the full council meeting this morning.


ZESCO connecting over 400 new clients every month

The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO says that it has been connecting an average of 457 new customers every month in the last six months.

ZESCO Division Manager for South, Wilbroad Chanda says that this is a demand that requires the power company to invest more in power generation.

Speaking in Chipata over the weekend, Mr. Chanda also revealed that ZESCO had run out of conductors, which has affected the exercise of connecting new clients.

He however, says that the company has ordered new conductors, which are expected to be in the country in the next two weeks.

A number of people in Chipata have complained over the delay by the power company to connect electricity despite having paid connection fees.