BETUZ defends teachers involved in politics

The Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia, BETUZ has asked government to stop persecuting teachers, who are perceived to be supporting opposition political parties.

BETUZ Deputy General Secretary Henry Sinkala says it is uncalled for, for government to retire teachers on national interest for being perceived to be aligned to certain political parties.

Speaking during the commemoration of Teacher’s Day yesterday, Mr. Sinkala says some teachers have been transferred in unclear circumstances without being investigated.

He says every person has a right to belong to any political party that they feel has an agenda to develop the country.

But Mr. Sinkala was however, quick to caution the teachers against active politics, stating that civil servants should remain non- partisan.

He further says that the conditions of service for teachers remain largely neglected, which include the 2017 wage freeze.

Mr. Sinkala adds that government should improve the conditions of service for teachers.

And Teaching Council of Zambia, TCZ Senior Inspection Officer Henry Kamoko advised teachers to have a sense of self-esteem and be role models in society.

He says teachers should discharge their duties professionally, and be dedicated to their work, to help produce quality results for the leaners.

Mr. Kamoko says few teachers, who are a nuisance in society tarnish the general effort of the majority teachers, who are hard working.

Meanwhile, Acting Provincial Permanent Secretary Smith Mangalilo says it is the government’s role to empower teachers with all the necessary resources to ensure excellent execution of their duties.

He says government is committed to improving the conditions of service for teachers.

Teachers commemorate World Teacher’s Day

Teachers in Chipata have joined the rest of the world in commemorating this year’s World Teacher’s Day which falls today.

In his opening remarks at the commemoration ceremony in Chipata, provincial education officer, Allan Lingambe, has challenged teachers to be professional.

He says there is need for teachers to be role models in society, if they are to be respected.

Dr. Lingambe says this is the day that teachers come together and reflect on the positive things they have done in society, especially in the teaching fraternity

The commemoration has been characterized with drama dances.

The teachers are celebrating their day under the theme, “Teaching Freedom, Empowering Teachers”.

Meanwhile some teachers in Chipata district have been working for more than two years in acting positions.

Zambia National Union of Teachers ZNUT District Chairperson Isaac Ngoma further says that some teachers who upgraded their qualifications as far back as 2013 have not been upgraded.

Mr. Ngoma said this when delivering his speech in Mpezeni Zone to commemorate Teacher’s Day this morning.

He implored government to update the schools establishment to make it responsive to the current population and demands.

And Mr. Ngoma has advised teachers to celebrate their achievements and positive contributions to national development.

He says that the commemoration of Teacher’s Day is an opportunity to raise awareness to members of the public on the role the teachers play in shaping the morals in society.

Mr. Ngoma states that it is therefore, important that as teachers commemorate their day, they reflect on what they have so far achieved and also identify areas that need improvement.

Six nubbed for murder in Petauke district

Six criminal suspects have been arrested in Petauke district for allegedly killing an 82 year old man of Chinjili Village.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner Alex Chilufya has named the victim as Andisela Lungu, of Chief Nyamphande’s area.

Mr. Chilufya has told Breeze News the brutal murder incident occurred on Monday adding that the victim was attacked with stones and other blunt objects, which include sticks.

He says the victim was suspected of bewitching a relative of the suspects, which relative has since died.

Mr. Chilufya says the body of the victim is lying in Petauke District Hospital Mortuary awaiting post-mortem.

He named the suspects as headman Chinjili, aged 44 years, Mary Njobvu aged 18 years, Frederick Daka aged 55, Harrison Mwale aged 31, Alick Kapele aged 24, and, Jaston Daka, whose age is not known, all of Chief Nyamphande’s area.

Mr. Chilufya says investigations are on-going and that all the suspects are in Police custody.

A bench warrant issued for three witnesses in a case of murder

The Chipata High Court has issued a bench warrant for three witnesses in a case of murder after they failed to appear before court on two occasions.

The state applied before Judge Mwamba Chanda that a bench warrant is issued to allow for the witnesses to attend the court session where 27 year old Yohanne Libonde is appearing for murdering his uncle.

The state said Matulino Ingwe, Tasila Mbewe and Stanley Libonde were witnesses in a case where Yohanne Libonde of Chuni village in Chief Mpezeni’s area in Chipata is accused of murdering his uncle, Size Mbewe in 2012.

The court heard that in December 2016 when the matter came up, the witnesses failed to appear before High Court Judge Mwila Chitabo who was sitting in the Chipata High Court.

The court ordered that a bench warrant be issued on 10th October, 2017 so that the witnesses can appear before court for the commencement of trial.

All the three witnesses who are reported to be relatives of the accused are alleged to have fled their homes.

 

Meanwhile, a Teacher who allegedly murdered his wife in Katete district has appeared for trial in the Chipata High Court.

Appearing before Judge Mwamba Chanda was Tobias Mwale, 33, a teacher at Omelo Mumba Primary School in Katete, who is accused of murdering his 26 years old wife, Mumba Kalaba, who was a nurse.

The state secured ten witnesses to testify but at the time of the accused first trial, only three were before court.

Before the state could proceed to call witnesses, the defense, through Legal Aid Counsel, John Phiri, applied that it had information that the accused suffered from Schizophrenia, a mental disorder involving a breakdown between thought, emotion and behaviour.

The disease also leads to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings including withdrawal from reality into fantasy and delusion.

The defense said according to information obtained, the grandmother, mother, father and sister of the accused all suffer from the same illness.

He said pursuant to section 17 sub section one of the criminal procedure Act of the laws of Zambia, the accused should be referred to any competent government medical institution to ascertain his state of mind and how it could have been at the time of committing the offence.

And Judge Chanda said the court had taken into account of the application by the defense and granted that the accused be taken to hospital to ascertain his mental state at the time of committing the offence for the purposes of sentencing.

 

 

 

But the court said that for the purposes of trial, the court will proceed with the three witnesses who were called to testify.

Particulars of the offence are that Tobias Mbewe, on 16th July, 2017, allegedly murdered his wife, Mumba Kalaba, after a quarrel at their matrimonial home in Katete.

Breeze MD Retires

Breeze FM Founder and Director, Mike Daka, has retired from the radio station and active media involvement after working in the media industry for 45 years.

Mr. Daka announced his retirement last night at a farewell party for members of staff of the radio station held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Breeze FM.

He said that there was need for change, renewal and preparations for a brighter future at Breeze FM radio station.

As part of the re-organisation of the radio station following Mr. Daka’s retirement, Breeze FM will relocate from its old building on plot number 866 Parirenyatwa Road to a new site within the Chipata Central Business District.

Mr. Daka started his career in journalism at the Zambia News Agency, ZANA, where he spent 17 years and rose from the position of Reporter to that of Editor-in-Chief.

He then worked as the Managing Director of the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication, ZAMCOM, for 13 years.

Mr. Daka established Breeze FM Radio Station in the year 2002 following the government’s decision to liberalise the broadcasting sector which ended the monopoly of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

He thanked the government, business community, civil society, the staff of the radio station, past and present, and the people of Eastern Province for helping to make Breeze FM the most effective channel of communication in Eastern Province and surrounding areas.

He assured members of staff, listeners and other stakeholders that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure continued operations of the radio station and expansion of its activities.

Mr. Daka was educated in Zambia, India, Germany and the United Kingdom and holds a Masters Degree in Journalism Studies.

He will settle on his farm in Kauzu Farm Block on the outskirts of Chipata.

 

 

 

FRA told to pay farmers quickly

An organization representing farmers in Chipata, has expressed worry over the delay by FRA, Food Reserve Agency, to pay farmers their money.

Chipata District Farmers Association Coordinator Virgil Malambo says the delay by FRA to pay farmers their money is a source of worry, because this is the time farmers should start buying farming inputs.

He says the agency indicated that it will start paying farmers, two weeks after selling their maize, but that some farmers who have not yet been paid sold their maize to the agency in August.

Mr. Malambo says FRA has a capacity to pay farmers in time, because it has reduced the tonnage they have purchased from farmers this year.

He says the trend by the agency is unacceptable, adding that the statement by government that it wants to prioritize agriculture, as an engine for economic development will not be implemented if this trend continues.

He adds that FRA should therefore expedite the payment before the onset of the rains.

Eastern Water squeezes over K20,000 from clients

Over 20 thousand kwacha has been realized by Eastern Water and Sewerage Company, EWSC from 32 customers, who owed the company and had to be visited by the bailiffs.

Company Public Relations Officer Christabel Malama says the company engaged bailiffs two weeks ago, and that 90 per cent of those visited have cleared their water bills.

She says the exercise is being conducted in eight districts in the province, Chadiza, Chama, Chipata, Katete, Petauke, Nyimba, Lundazi and Mambwe.

Ms. Malama says the affected customers are those who have standing water bills for over two months.

She says over 500 customers were issued with warrants from bailiffs.

She adds that the company has in the recent years not managed to collect revenue from all customers, an action that has culminated in the debt of 9.6 million kwacha of unpaid water and sewerage services.

Illegal developers given seven days to demolish structures

The local authority in Chipata has given a seven days ultimatum to illegal developers in referendum area to start demolishing their structures.

Chipata City Council Town Clerk Davies Musenge says affected developers have so far been issued with notices.

Mr. Musenge says the chairperson for provincial planning authority, Chanda Kasolo, who is also provincial permanent secretary directed the council to issue notices to all the affected developers, before action is taken.

He says if developers do not demolish their structures after seven days, an action will be taken.

In August this year, the Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale gave him a go ahead to demolish the structures.

He said if affected people are hesitant to demolish their structures, a bulldozer will be sent to destroy everything.

 

EFAZ predicts more tobacco production in 2018

The Eastern Fodya Association of Zambia, EFAZ says Eastern Province is likely to produce more tobacco next year.

EFAZ chairperson, Frankline Mwale says more farmers have interest to grow tobacco this year, due to the good prices companies offered during the last marketing season.

Mr. Mwale also says about three companies have so far come on board to sponsor farmers, while another company has signed agreements with independent tobacco growers that it would buy their crop.

He, however, asked government through TBZ, the Tobacco Board of Zambia, to ensure that it starts preparing early enough to buy whatever tobacco would remain with farmers after companies reach their targeted tonnages.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mwale has implored traditional leaders not to allow farmers who grow tobacco but are not interested in planting trees to grow tobacco in their areas.

He says every farmer interested in growing tobacco, must also plant trees in order to help minimize the impact of tobacco growing on forestry.