Eastern Water owed over K100,000 in Chadiza district

Customers in Chadiza district owe the Eastern Water and Sewerage Company 195,000 Kwacha in unpaid bills.

Company Manager in Chadiza district, William Moyo, confirmed this during the Epidemic Preparedness Prevention Control Committee Meeting held today.

Mr. Moyo said the company is facing a lot of challenges due to non-settlement of water bills.

He said the company has failed to pay some of its workers, including Water Kiosk Attendants due to none and late payment of water bills by customers.

Mr. Moyo says if the debt can be cleared, the company will be able to extend the water distribution in the district.

Mr. Moyo, has however, appealed to all customers to quickly settle their outstanding bills in order to help the company provide its services according customer’s satisfaction.

Chipata-Tazara railway project hits a snag

The project of linking the Chipata-Mchinji railway line to TAZARA has hit a logistical challenge, which has affected the commencement of the works.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo explains that the contractor for the works, China Civil Engineering, was supposed to have mobilised to the site in May this year but this has not yet happened.

Mr. Kasolo told Breeze News that the main contentious issue about the project is whether it is necessary to have a dry port at Chipata Railway station or not.

He explained that there are two contracts, which need to be sorted out clearly before the works can start.

Mr. Kasolo says that the first project involves a European Union funded project worth 27 million Euros of constructing a by-pass road, from the Great East Road near St. Monica’s Girls Secondary School turnoff to link Chipata-Chadiza road.

The second project involves the extension of the Chipata-Mchinji railway line to TAZARA, which is funded by the Chinese government.

Mr. Kasolo explained that the contract for the by-pass road also includes construction of the dry port at the Railway Station and that this has raised a legal debate, on which contractor is supposed to carry out the works.

 

TBZ told to guide farmers

Tobacco Board of Zambia TBZ has been called upon to guide farmers on the position of the tobacco industry in Eastern Province.

Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia EFAZ Provincial Chairperson Franklin Mwale says TBZ must properly guide farmers, since the board had indicated that merchants are still looking for tobacco to buy following the low production this season.

Mr. Mwale says that it is likely that farmers might grow more tobacco next season following the high demand for the crop this marketing season.

He says that this might however cause problems as merchants might not be able to buy all the tobacco, thereby force government to intervene.

But TBZ Chief Executive Officer Samson Muyembe says that he will not advise farmers to grow more tobacco next farming season.

Mr. Muyembe says that farmers should study the market on their own and compare the performance of other crops like maize and soya beans on the market.

High cases of theft scare teachers

Teachers at Lunyike Primary School in Luangeni Constituency of Chipata district have complained over an increase in theft cases.

Peter Sanga, a teacher at the school told Breeze News that teachers have lost a lot of property due to theft cases, which have become rampant in the area

He says that it is difficult to report these theft cases to police ,because of the long distance from the school to Feni Police Post.

Mr. Sanga complained that this was among the reasons why teachers abandon schools in rural areas.

And Nsingo Ward Councillor Chisoni Miti says that the theft cases have reduced after holding sensitisation meetings with villagers in the area to stop stealing from teachers.

Mr. Miti further explained that the problem of witchcraft, which teachers were complaining about, had reduced.

Man jailed two years for burglary and theft

A 26 year old man of Chipata District has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour for one count of burglary and theft.

Before Chipata Resident Magistrate, Boniface Mwala, was Offman Zulu, a resident of Referendum Compound.

It is alleged that Zulu broke into a house of Victor Vumisa and stole property valued at 900 kwacha.

Zulu, who was arrested on May 26th 2017, admitted the charge, stating that he stole the bicycle and a blanket, under the influence of alcohol.

In mitigation, the convict asked the court to exercise leniency as he was a first offender.

And in his Judgment, Magistrate Mwala said the court had heard his mitigation and that he deserves leniency, because he did not waste the court’s time.

The Magistrate, however said, the offence he committed was serious, adding that theft cases have become a nuisance in Chipata and that there need to protect the community by sending criminals of such crimes to prison to deter would be offenders.

He sentenced him to two years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the day of his arrest.

Magistrate Mwala advised the convict to appeal to the high court within 14 days if he was not satisfied with the ruling.

ACC appeals against Silvia Masebo acquittal

The Anti-Corruption Commission ACC has appealed against the Lusaka Magistrate court’s acquittal of former Minister of Tourism, Silvia Masebo.

This is in a matter in which Ms. Masebo was charged with Abuse of Authority of Office contrary to section 21(1) of the Anti-Corruption ACT NO, 3 of 2012.

This is when she allegedly directed the then Zambia Wildlife Authority, ZAWA to cancel the tender for the hunting blocks.

Commission Public Relations Manager, Timothy Moono has confirmed this to Breeze News.

The Commission has filed in an Appeal to the High court.

And according to details posted on the ACC Facebook page, the commission has appealed based on six grounds, among them, that the trial court erred in law, when it made final assessment as to witnesses’ credibility, especially as to their truthfulness at no case to answer stage.

It also says the trial court erred in law, when it acquitted the Respondent at no case to answer, in count one, when there was proof of one ingredient of the offence charged.

The commission further contends that the trial court erred when it considered a benefit, as one of the ingredients of the offence of Abuse of authority of office.

It is also contesting the ruling that the actions by Ms. Masebo of directing ZAWA to cancel the tender process did not amount to Abuse of Authority of Office.

The ACC says the lower court misdirected itself at law, when it gave an unbalanced evaluation of the evidence, where only the flaws and not strengths of the case of the state where considered and that it accepted the hearsay evidence of DW2.

Villagers face challenges to access ARVs

People in Khova ward of Chipata District have continued facing challenges in accessing ARV’s, the Anti-Retroviral drugs.

Silizyani Ngoma, a resident of Chief Sairi’s area says people living with HIV find challenges in accessing the drugs because they cover long distances to health centers.

Mr. Ngoma says the situation has forced some people on ART to default on treatment.

He says there is need for government through the Ministry of Health to be supplying the drugs to all health institutions across the district.

Mr. Ngoma said this during a developmental meeting organized by Chipata Mayor Sinoya Mwale in the area.

And Chipata District Hospital Surveillance Officer Esnart Nkhata acknowledged the challenges people living with HIV face in the area.

Mrs. Nkhata says Chikando and Jerusalem are the only health centers that provide ARV’s in Chief Sairi’s area.

She however, says pregnant women are given the drugs in the nearest health centers in their respective communities.