Government reviewing business regulations

Government says it is reviewing a number of regulations which affect the business community in the country.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe says the country will continue creating a conducive business regulatory environment, which support the diversification of the country’s economy.

Ms. Mwanakatwe says Zambia is among the top 10 economies, globally, showing the most notable improvement in implementing business reforms and that it is ranked 85th of the World Bank ease of doing business from 2017 to 2018.

She says this means that the country has improved in the implementation of its business regulation frame work.

Ms. Mwanakatwe said this during the official launch of the Chipata Regulatory Services Centre and the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MoU between PACRA and BRRA, Business Regulatory Review Agency this morning.

The Minister says the establishment of the Regulatory Services Center in the province will improve the business environment, as it will help reduce the procedure, it takes to complete the business registration process.

She says that government wants to ensure that Regulatory Service Centers are established in every provincial center by the end of this year.

Ms. Mwanakatwe says the Chipata RSC launched this morning will be offering services such as business main registration, consumer protection, among other services.

And Business Regulatory Review Agency Director Sharon Sichilongo says the RSC’s which are currently operational in Lusaka, Livingstone and Kitwe are important as they improve service delivery to the business community.

Ms. Sichilongo has asked Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale, who was present during the launch, to extend the local authority’s services to the Chipata RSC.

Taxi drivers in Chadiza refuse to relocate

Taxi drivers in Chadiza district have refused to follow a directive from the council to operate from the New Bus Station.

Taxi drivers, who had a meeting with Council management and the District Commissioner on Monday refused to operate from the new bus station alleging that the station is meant for buses and not taxis.

Misheck Phiri and Kaliza Soko told Breeze News in Chadiza that the station is not conducive for taxis adding that it is a bit far from the market where they can easily get customers.

Mr. Soko says that taxi drivers will continue operating from the Old Market and that the station should be reserved for buses only.

He says that the station should be fully completed for it to start operating.

Chadiza District Council earlier this month ordered all the taxi drivers to move away from the taxi rank at the old market and start operating from the new bus station.

 

lightning kills a Malawian in Chipata

A Malawian national is reported to have died after being struck by lightning in Chief Chanje’s area in Chipata district.

Chief Chanje told Breeze News that 67 year old Wintala Banda met his fate yesterday around 15:30 hours at Kapasa Trading Centre.

He says that the incident happened when Mr. Banda, was trying to cross the Chipata-Lundazi road after the rains started.

Chief Chanje says that medical staff in the area confirmed that Mr. Banda, who was married to a Zambia in Kamampina Village had died.

He says that Mr. Banda is originally from Mbuna Village, Dzoole area of Dowa district in Malawi.

He will be buried today.

Valley FM employee dies after falling from 30 meter tower

A Valley FM Radio employee in Nyimba district has died after falling off from a 30 meter tower.

Eastern Province Divisional Criminal Investigation Officer, Patson Mukomongo has confirmed the incident to Breeze News.

Mr. Mukomongo who is Acting Eastern Province Police Commissioner, says the incident happened on Sunday around 16 hours at Valley FM in Nyimba district.

He says the incident occurred when two employees  at Valley FM Radio, Fackson Kalunga, aged 22 years old, of Old Council Compound and Joseph Daka, aged 25 years old , of Sunga village in Chief Ndake’s area, fell off from a 30 meter tower, as they were repairing the tower.

Mr. Mukomongo says Fackson Kalunga died on the spot while Joseph Daka is admitted at Nyimba District Hospital.

He says on the material day, the two were repairing an FM valley tower that broke down at 10 meters from the ground, causing the deceased to fall on the roof of the radio station.

He says the iron sheet of the roof cut his body when he penetrated into the room and fell on the floor.

Mr. Mukomongo says the condition of Joseph Daka who sustained a cut on his right hand and bruises on his back is reported to be stable.

Confusion ensures over demolition of houses

Government has maintained that it will continue demolishing illegal structures built on top of underground installed water pipe lines, in order to protect people’s lives.

Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says government will not entertain any illegality.

He says that what Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale and some of his councilors are doing is uncalled for, as they are against the directive by the head of state.

On Monday, Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale said he is against the decision by the Provincial Administration to demolish buildings allegedly built on top of the underground water utility pipe lines.

Mr. Kasolo says the council is responsible for administering land to developers, stating that this means that the council allowed illegal structures to be built.

The Permanent Secretary says that it is surprising to note that Mr. Mwale who was the mayor before, from 2008 to 2010 has turned around and started condemning things that are being done properly.

Mr. Kasolo said this during a press briefing yesterday.

He says the provincial administration has been working well with technocrats from the council, who have been directing officials in the demolition exercise.

Mr. Kasolo added that individuals whose illegal structures were demolished are unhappy over the exercise and are now telling lies to the general public.

He says the council has failed in their duties, stating that the provincial administration is trying to put things in order.

Government maintains its stance on schools

The provincial administration has maintained that it will not allow schools with poor hygiene standards in Eastern Province to start operating.

Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo further says that he has no apologies to make over his decision not to allow dirty schools to open.

Speaking on a live radio programme dubbed “The Voice” on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Kasolo says that the tough decision was made to protect school children from cholera.

He stated that he has charged some of the school managers, who allowed their poor toilet facilities to worsen to unacceptable standards.

And Mr. Kasolo says that the cholera situation in the province is reasonably under control but still worrying because the number of cases is now getting close to 30.

He also explained that 70 percent of all inspections of schools and other institutions have had to be closed.

And speaking during the same programme, Provincial Education Standards Officer, Beatrice Botha says that schools that will delay to open have a number of options, which they can use to ensure that they catch up on the syllabus.

Ms. Botha says that this includes having extra lessons in the afternoon or evenings and evenings and having additional lessons over weekends.

She has urged school managers to use catch up strategies like academic clinics, where pupils are given full times lessons during holidays.

Five fishermen arrested in Lundazi district

The Department of Fisheries in Lundazi District has apprehended seven fishermen for abrogating government annual fish barn.

ZANIS reports that Lundazi District Fisheries Officer in Charge Chilufya Chitambala confirmed the arrest of the fishermen from chiefs Mphamba and Kapichila.

Mr. Chitambala said the seven were arrested on Thursday at Lundazi Dam.

Those arrested are Zacharia Nyumayo aged  20 of Kaluba village, Chief Mphamba, Charles Kumwenda  aged 22 of  Sitolo village Chief Kapichila , Temwanani Kumwenda aged 73 of Sitolo village, Chief  Kapichila and Alick Miti aged 30, of Mphamba village, Chief Mphamba.

Others area  Panji Kaunda aged 19 of Chimwemwe Compound Kitwe, Chosani  Nyirenda aged 29, of Kaluba village Chief Mphamba and Lameck Soko, aged 30 of Mphamba Compound in Chief Mphamba.

The suspects are currently in Police custody and will appear in court soon for offence of illegal Fishing, contrary to Fisheries Act Chapter 200, which suspend fishing activities in all water bodies from 1st December to 28 February every year.

The annual fish ban is in order to allow fish to breed.

Meanwhile, Mr Chitambala has warned communities residing near water bodies to stop conducting illegal fishing, saying his department will not hesitate to arrest and punish all culprits.

Five street vendors in Chipata nabbed

Five street vendors in Chipata have been arrested for trading on the street.

And a civil servant has been arrested for buying lemons and avocadoes from street vendors.

Chipata City Council Director for Legal Affairs Lynn Galapa revealed this during a cholera update meeting on Friday.

Ms. Galapa says that of the five who were arrested, two were fined and released as the police hadn’t been advised that the dockets should be forwarded to the National Prosecution Authority, NPA.

She says that the remaining three are in police custody and will have their dockets forwarded to NPA for prosecution.

Ms Galapa explained that since the local government street vending and nuisance act does not provide specific penalties, the civil servant was made to buy a broom and sweep the front entrance to one of the supermarkets under the supervision of a guard.

She says the local authority hopes such action will deter other would be offenders from buying things from street vendors.

And Ms Galapa says that the fast track court will not only be used to prosecute those going against the street vending and nuisance act, but traffic offences committed by drivers in the district.

Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries to increase to over 86, 000 in 2018.

The number of beneficiaries under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Eastern Province is expected to increase from 67,323 in 2017 to 86, 896 in 2018.

Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare Emerine Kabashi says that this is to reduce the country’s poverty levels, which currently stand at 54.4 per cent.

Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM this morning, Ms. Kabanshi further says that in 2017, government spent 28.9 million Kwacha on the social cash transfer scheme in Eastern Province and the amount will increase this year.

She revealed that her ministry is working at producing a single register of beneficiaries for all programmes under the ministry to ensure that one person does not benefit from more than one programme.

Ms. Kabanshi did not rule out a situation where some beneficiaries are benefiting from the social cash transfer scheme and the Food Security Pack.

She however, says that the Food Security Pack has worked so well that government has decided to increase the number of beneficiaries from 350 to 750 beneficiaries in each district in 2018.

And the minister indicated that payments for November and December 2017 under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, which have delayed are currently being processed in Lusaka and will be paid out soon.

Meanwhile Ms. Kabanshi says that recovery of loans under the Village Bank programme have been successful with some districts in Eastern Province recording between 80 and 100 percent recoveries.

She says that women have so far proved to be reliable, such that there is no need to prosecute those that may be struggling to pay back.

Shortage of staff hits Chipata City Council’s public health department

The Chipata City Council’s Public Health Department has a shortage of staff.

Public Health Department Health Director, Constance Mulenga Chirwa, says the department currently only has five, instead of the required 44 workers.

She says because of this her department is unable to work at full capacity.

Mrs. Chirwa was responding to questions by Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, who was inquiring why the department was failing to pick garbage on time.

She says when Chipata was upgraded to a city, the public health unit was upgraded to a department, but has not received staff.

Mrs Chirwa says the situation worsened following a directive from the Local Service Commission that all councils should trim the number of casual workers.

And Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, noted the need for the department to have more staff.

He says his office will make sure that the department gets more people to enable it ran efficiently.

Mr. Kasolo says in the meantime, the local authority can use inmates from Zambia Correctional Facilities to help in waste management.