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.