Government told to consider farmers when revising maize price

Government has been asked to consider farmers that have already sold their maize to FRA, the Food Reserve Agency, when revising the market floor price.

Chipata District Farmers Association, CDFA coordinator, Virgil Malambo, says farmers should be given a top up if the price of maize is increased.

Mr. Malambo also stressed the need to hasten the revision of the maize floor price, adding that farmers are excited with this development.

He said that farmers are hopeful that government will consider the price of inputs and the cost of transportation and announce a price that will be favourable.

He observed that most farmers, who were holding on to their maize are now willing to sale their maize because government has shown willingness to revise the price of maize.

Mr. Malambo says government should quickly announce the new floor price, because it will assist farmers bargain for better prices when selling their maize to private buyers.

President Edgar Lungu last week made a pronouncement that government would revise the maize floor price for the 2017 crop marketing season.

Tarring works progressing well in Petauke district

The 12.5 million kwacha road works in Petauke district are progressing well.

District Commissioner, Velenasi Moyo, says construction of Petauke turnoff-boma, Minga Mission-hospital and Kalindawalo roads, are all undergoing rehabilitation.

Mrs. Moyo says Condril Construction Company is expected to complete works on the boma road before the end of this month.

She told Breeze News that the contract for the project is three months.

The district commissioner says the contractor has already started doing detours on the Kalindawalo road, while works on the Minga Mission Hospital have also commenced.

Cooperative receives tractors from government in Chadiza

Government has handed over two Honda Tractors to Mwandipeza Co-operative of Zingalume Village in Chief Zingalume’s area in Chadiza District.

Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary, Felix Phiri says Chadiza is one of the areas identified where value addition processes can be done.

Dr. Phiri says this is due to high levels of agriculture products recorded in the district.

He says that government will continue empowering women by giving them all necessary support in agricultural business.

Dr. Phiri says government will work with women co-operatives to bring economic development in the area.

He says that 70 percent of membership in the co-operatives should be women and only 30 percent men.

The permanent secretary has appealed to Mwandipeza Co-operative members to utilize the tractors well and make sure that the money generated from the project is not abused by men in the co-operative.

And Mwandipeza co-operative chairperson, Ireen Phiri, says the two tractors will help improve the farming methods and improve on the crop yield among women in the area.

She has, however, asked government to help her co-operative with roofing sheets as the co-operative has already moulded more than 15,000 bricks for the construction of a storage shed.

 

Theft of motor bikes on the increase in Eastern Province

Police in Eastern Province have observed that there is an increase in cases of theft of motor bikes.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya, says that police are concerned over the development, because theft of motorbikes is increasing in all the districts.

Mr. Chilufya says Zambians are conniving with Malawians to steal motor bikes and remove engines, which they later sell in the neighbouring country.

He says that the motorbike engines are being sold to fishermen in Malawi, where they use them on boats.

Mr. Chilufya says that police in the province are working together with their colleagues from Malawi in order to bring to book the culprits.

Meanwhile ZANIS reports that Mr. Chilufya says police are investigating a theft case at Mount Meru Filling Station in Chipata district.

Mr. Chilufya could, however neither disclose the total sum of money that was stolen nor details on the matter, as police from the Criminal Investigations Department, CID, are still investigating the matter.

He says that details on the matter will be given once investigations are completed.

Man jailed 5 years for four pieces ivory

The Chipata Magistrate Court has sentenced a 34 year old man of Chinula village in Chief Chanje’s area to five years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of being in possession of four pieces of ivory, weighing 43 kilograms.

Facts before the court are that James Mbewe aged 34 and Gilbert Banda aged 33 years, on September 6th 2017, were found with four pieces of prescribed trophy, Ivory without the certificate of ownership, issued by the director of Department of National Parks and Wildlife, as required by the law.

James Mbewe admitted the charge while Gilbert Banda denied.

The two were apprehended by officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, in Mgubudu area.

In mitigation, Mbewe asked the court to exercise leniency as he is taking care of orphans.

Resident Magistrate Boniface Mwala said the court had heard his mitigation and that he is a first offender who readily admitted the charge.

He however, said the offence that the convict committed is serious.

He then sentenced him to five years with effect from his arrest and advised him to appeal to the high court within 14 days if he is not satisfied with the court’s ruling.

And Magistrate Mwala has set October 2nd 2017, as date for commencement of trial in the case of Gilbert Banda who denied the charge.

Eastern Water goes for bailiffs to recover K 9 billion debt

Over 5,600 customers who owe Eastern Water and Sewerage Company have been given seven days, in which to settle their bills or face bailiffs.

This is in a bid to recover about 9.6 million Kwacha owed to the company in unsettled bills.

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company, Public Relations Officer Christabel Malama, says the affected customers are those who owe the company more than two months bills.

She says court bailiffs will start collecting property that will be equivalent to what customers owe, for those who will fail to pay the water bills within seven days.

She says the company has decided to use court bailiffs because there are some customers who have not been paying for more than six months.

And company managing director, Lytone Kanowa says that the company is owed about 9.6 million Kwacha and about half of the amount is owed by government departments while the rest is owed by commercial and domestic clients.

Government focusing on improving employment prospects for Zambians.

Government is supporting the growth of a diversified and resilient economy to increase revenue and improve employment prospects for its citizens.

Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development, Acting Permanent Secretary Gideon Ndalama further says that the country is diversifying from copper mining to the development of other minerals.

Mr. Ndalama said this in Chipata at the official launch of a four day Training of Trainers workshop on business management, entrepreneurial skills, and market analysis and investment promotion in development of minerals.

The acting Permanent Secretary further said that the development of minerals is a deliberate target for the government diversification agenda considering that there are abundant resources found in all provinces of the country and can be used in the construction, agriculture, and manufacturing industries.

Mr Ndalama stated that to unlock the potential of the development minerals sector, government has partnered with UNDP, the United Nations Development Programme to implement development minerals programme to build the profile and improve management of development minerals.

Mr. Ndalama further said the country has the potential to stimulate economic activities and generate more local jobs, with a greater impact on poverty reduction.

Mr. Ndalama said that Zambia like other African countries needs to invest in skills to improve the mining sector’s performance.

 

 

UPND 2018 budget expectations

The United Party for National Development UPND says that it expects government to allocate more resources to the Agriculture and health sectors in the 2018 national budget.

The UPND further wants more resource allocation to education, processing industry and poverty eradication.

UPND Provincial Spokesperson, Victor Mbuzi says that the agriculture sector needs more money that should facilitate timely and effective input distribution.

Mr. Mbuzi further says that the health sector needs effective supply of drugs in all health facilities while education needs more money for infrastructure development especially in rural schools.

He says that particular attention should also be made to put up processing industries for farm produce like cotton and tobacco, which will create jobs for local people.

Mr. Mbuzi further says that more allocation of resources to poverty eradication is vital to reduce the high levels of poverty in the country.

Tow men jailed one year for stealing 51 chickens

Two men of Chipata, who stole 51 chickens and two bags of chicken feed, have been sentenced to one year imprisonment each by the Chipata Magistrate Court.

Facts before the court are that Moses Wynter Njobvu, aged 20 and Edward Lungu aged 22, on September 12th 2017, jointly and while acting together with a juvenile, broke and entered into a poultry house, at Kamoto Farms and stole 51 chickens and two bags of feed valued at 2,232 Kwacha.

The three stood charged with one count of breaking into a building and committing a felony, contrary to the laws of Zambia.

They both admitted the charge, while the juvenile denied.

After the judgment, the state made an application that the juvenile be discharged in accordance under section 88A.

In mitigation, Moses asked the court to exercise leniency as he is in school and that he takes care of his grandmother.

And Edward asked the court to exercise leniency as he is taking care of an orphan, whom he gives financial support at school.

Resident Magistrate Mwala said the court had heard their mitigation and that the two are youths, who can easily reform if given another chance.

Magistrate Mwala, however, said the offence that the two committed has become a nuisance in Chipata.

He said giving custodial sentences to offenders will help reduce theft cases.

He then sentenced them to one year each with effect from the day of their arrest and discharged the juvenile.

The Magistrate warned the juvenile not to repeat the mistake.

Earlier, the juvenile told the court that he was picked by his friends and that he did not know that they had an intention of stealing.

Anglican Bishop voices concern over low maize floor price

The Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia has observed that this year’s crop marketing has posed a great challenge and disadvantaged farmers.

Bishop William Mchombo, notes that the price of 60 Kwacha per 50 kilogram bag of maize falls below the cost of production.

The Bishop says this means farmers are selling their crops at a loss and that the problem of low prices is also affecting soya beans and groundnuts.

Bishop Mchombo observes that if the distribution of inputs and the marketing continue posing serious challenges to farmers, it may affect the good plan by government to diversify the economy.

He says government must come up with a deliberate policy of protecting small scale farmers, who are at the mercy of exploitative dealers.

Bishop Mchombo made the observation in Katete at the Eleventh Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia.

On Gender Based Violence, GBV cases, Bishop Mchombo observed that the challenge has become an economic and social problem for communities, as it cuts across religion, race and tribe.

He attributed the problem to gender inequalities and power imbalances, emphasizing that GBV infringes on human rights and impacts negatively on development.

He said while there are many organizations working hard to end GBV cases, the church cannot afford to lag behind and encouraged church groups to come up with committees to deal with gender abuse.

He also added that the church appreciates government’s political will to deal with GBV cases at various levels through a number of policy, legislative and administrative measures.

 

Meanwhile, Bishop Mchombo has called on the country to address omissions in the constitution.

He says the political tension that the country experienced after the last general elections could be attributed to contentious issues in the constitution.

Bishop Mchombo also notes that the Public Order Act can be reformed and exercised in a just and fair way, regardless of political party or organization.

He says while politics will remain the way to elect leaders, they should not be a tool for dividing the people in the country.

Bishop Mchombo says the Anglican Church in the Eastern Diocese of Zambia, therefore joins other people in calling for dialogue and reconciliation of all political players and their parties.

He says Zambia is a unitary state, in which its citizens and residents should participate fully in various issues regardless of tribe, religion or region, as long as they are within the law.

On environmental issues, Bishop Mchombo urged planning departments in District Councils to be more proactive and choose right places where people can build.

He said the current situation where people build on top of hills and sometimes on river sources, should be discouraged, to prevent disasters like those happening in other countries.