Councils told not to divert funds for capital projects

Councils in Eastern Province have been advised against diverting funds meant for capital projects.

Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu observes that some councils in the province have been using resources meant for capital projects to hold workshops and pay allowances to participants.

The Minister said this when he officiated at the Provincial Coordinating Committee for the Dissemination of the Seventh National Development Plan 7NDP in Chipata.

Mr Zulu has urged councils to ensure money meant for specific projects are correctly used.

And the Minister has urged councils to take a leading role in the implementation process of the 7NDP especially as the province embarks on the concept of decentralization.

The Minister further stressed the importance of the dissemination exercise saying it is the only way stakeholders will familiarize themselves with the plan and ensure its effective implementation.

He noted that the only way to develop as a country is if the plan is implemented in an integrated manner.

And Permanent Secretary for Monitoring and Evaluation under the Ministry of National Development Planning, Auxilia Ponga says the dissemination exercise is intended to make citizens aware of its contents to enhance their effective participation and support.

The provincial dissemination programme has already been held in Northern, Southern, Lusaka, Copperbelt, Muchinga, North Western and Central provinces.

The programme is today being held in Western, Luapula and Eastern Provinces before it is concluded.

The 7NDP plan which was launched in June this year will run up to 2021.

Police investigate fraud at British Council

Police in Lusaka have opened investigations into alleged fraud at the British Council on one of the UK AID funded projects.

Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo has confirmed that police have launched investigations into the Zambia Accountability Project ZAP.

Ms. Katongo has told Breeze News that this follows a report that was made last week on Thursday to the Zambia Police Anti-Fraud Unit.

She says that the fraud is said to have occurred between 1 January 2016 to 1st September 2017.

Ms. Katongo further says that revelations follow an internal investigation carried out by the British Council.

Surety backs out after being detained

A surety has applied to withdraw from representing an accused person after officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, detained him for five days, following a court’s move to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of an accused person.

Sam Nyirenda was a surety for Solomon Sakala, who is charged with a wild life offence.

Sakala was found in possession of elephant bones.

When the matter came for return of bench warrant on Friday, Nyirenda told the court that he was surprised that he was apprehended because the person he signed bail for was not appearing before the court.

He said he was informed that the case against the accused ended because he paid money.

And Resident Magistrate Mwala said if is disheartening to learn that he was in custody.

He said according to the law, a bench warrant is issued against the accused, saying the accused is the one who is supposed to be in police custody and not a surety.

Magistrate Mwala said the court sympathizes with him, stating that if he wishes, he can pursue the matter.

The Magistrate said the police bond for the accused will not be extended until the other surety is brought before the court.

The matter has been adjourned to tomorrow for commencement of trial.