EPCCI advises government on mineral desposits

Government has been urged to properly plan and identify reliable resource areas to avoid illegal mining activities in the country.

Reacting to government’s decision to revoke exploration mining licenses in Petauke and Vubwi districts, Eastern Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that there was a situation of lawlessness in the respective areas.

Mr. Mtonga says the illegal mining activities conducted in the areas are a wakeup call to government, stating that for a long time, the deposits of gold have been laying idol in the province.

He says this is why government should have a resource map, to determine areas, which are rich in natural resources, so that certain things are done in a proper way.

Mr. Mtonga however says in terms of policy, when a person has a mining right, they are protected under the law in executing their activities.

He says assurance of permission to conduct business in the country by investors can be affected if government grants and later withdraws licenses from investors.

K400,000 to be released for bridges

Government is to release 400,000 Kwacha towards rehabilitation of Lutembwe Bridge on Kagunda road and culverts on Chipata-Magwero road.

Road Development Agency RDA Regional Engineer, Thomas Zimba has confirmed to Breeze News.

Mr. Zimba says that works on the bridge and culverts will start immediately after the money is made available by government.

And Chipata Central Member of Parliament Moses Mawere says that the 400,000 Kwacha is part of the 1.5 million Kwacha, which will be released by the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to some constituencies in Eastern Province.

Mr. Mawere says that he has been assured that the money will reflect in the RDA account today so that works can start immediately.

He however, says that if the money delays to come, Chipata City Council has agreed to borrow some money from the equalisation fund to do the works.

Mr. Mawere says that he is aware that the Lutembwe Bridge and culverts on Magwero road need agent attention to facilitate movement of people and vehicles.

Pilferage of drugs worries government

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo has expressed concern over the existing drug pilferage practices in the Province.

Mr. Kasolo says it is criminal to engage in selling of drugs meant for distribution in Public Health facilities.

The Permanent Secretary was speaking in Chipata during the 2017 Provincial Health 3rd Quarter Integrated Technical Review meeting.

He urged the Health Sector to strengthen its internal
controls to ensure the safe storage and management of medicines and other medical supplies.

Mr. Kasolo however commended the health sector in the province for recording improvements in areas of infrastructure development and implementing malaria control measures.

He said that this is despite the disease still remaining the major cause of morbidity and mortality.

Mr. Kasolo added that government has prioritized control efforts because its aim is to eliminate malaria by 2021.

The Permanent Secretary urged stakeholders to use the review meetings to assess ways of addressing the various challenges being faced in the province, among them insufficient blood availability, limited human resource and maternal deaths which was at 92 in 2016 and 72 so far this year.

Mr. Kasolo revealed that the health sector in the province has so far received tremendous support from cooperating partners with a total sum of 65 million Kwacha from various partners and 100% government funding.



Man senetenced 20 years for defilement

The Chipata High Court has sentenced a 29 year old man of Sinda district to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of defilement.

Appearing before Lusaka based Judge Mwila Chitabo for sentencing was Kafita Banda.

Facts of the matter are that Banda, on April 18th 2016, had carnal knowledge of his 10 year old niece, contrary to the laws of Zambia.

In mitigation, the convict who spoke through Senior Legal Aid counsel John Phiri asked the court to exercise leniency as he is a first offender who is sorry for his action.

He said the convict is a young man who can easily be rehabilitated if given another chance.

But when passing ruling, Judge Chitabo said the court had heard his mitigation but said that at his age, the convict is expected to show leadership in society and protect the wellbeing of children.

He said after carefully considering the record of proceedings from the lower court and looking at the medical report presented to the court, he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Banda had carnal knowledge of a minor.

He said the convict’s action will have a long psychological problem to the victim and therefore sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour, with effect from the day of his arrest.

The Judge advised him to appeal to the higher Court if he is not satisfied with the ruling.