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.