Government to pay back K400 under e-voucher

The Ministry of Agriculture is in the process of refunding 400 kwacha, meant for legumes, to farmers who have not yet redeemed farming inputs.

Chipata District Agriculture Marketing and Development Officer Michael Zulu says the decision was arrived at, after seeing that the time for planting legumes has passed.

He says government has already written to the banks handling the electronic voucher system to start the process of refunding the farmers.

Mr. Zulu however, says the number of farmers who have not yet redeemed their inputs is small.

He explained that out of 2,100 Kwacha, one hundred kwacha is channeled to crop insurance, 400 kwacha is for legumes while farmers can get whatever they want from the remaining1, 600 kwacha.

He says this means that the affected farmers will have a choice to collect whatever they want from agro dealers out of 2,000 kwacha.

Cholera cases in Eastern Province increase

Confirmed cholera cases in Eastern Province have gone up from twenty-four to twenty-six, with two new confirmed cases recorded in Petauke District.

Speaking during today’s cholera update meeting, Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says the two new confirmed cases involved three people from the same family in Ukwimi A and one of them died.

He says the Ministry of Health is yet to confirm if cholera was the cause of the death of the other person.

And Mr. Kasolo says the three suspected cholera cases in Katete have been cleared following tests.

He says further investigation at the treatment centre revealed that the three men had taken sexual enhancing drugs, locally known as “m’vumbwe”, which caused severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

The permanent Secretary says the three have been moved from the cholera treatment centre to a normal hospital for treatment.

He says the province is making progress as the deaths from cholera in the province remains at two even though the province has continued to record new cholera cases.

Fatal road accident claims three lives

Three people have died on the spot in a fatal road accident along the Great East Road in Mtenguleni area.

Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo has confirmed the accident involving two trucks, which happened around 20 hours on Monday.

Ms. Katonogo says that accident happened when one of the trucks hit into another truck, which was parked along the road after it broke down.

She says that Moses Mbao aged 45 years of Mchini Compound had parked the Sedon truck facing the direction of West on the left side of the road.

Ms. Katongo explains that in the process, an unknown driver of a Volvo truck driving from the direction of East to West and carrying three passengers failed to keep to near side and hit into the stationary motor vehicle.

She says that the driver of the Volvo Truck and his two unknown Male Passengers aged between 25 and 35 sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot.

Ms. Katongo says that the other passenger from the Volvo Truck identified as Sara Malembeka aged 32 years of Chipata Motel Area sustained body pains and is admitted to Chipata Central Hospital.

 

 

Meanwhile, Police in Lusaka yesterday around 16 hours gunned down four criminals in Kalundu area.

Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo says that police received a tip off from members of the public that there was a group of six armed criminals driving an unregistered Toyota Spacio who were about to stage a robbery within Kalundu.

She says that officers rushed to the area and spotted the Silver Spacio at the T- junction of Mulungushi road and after noticing the presence of Police, the criminals whilst firing at the officers U-turned and sped off.

Ms. Katongo says that Police gave chase and when they were catching up with them, four criminals came out of the vehicle trying to escape and were caught up with the bullets while two who were armed with an AK 47 riffle escaped using the motor vehicle.

She says that those shot dead were found with a Pistol Crvena Zastava-cal, two black bags containing four masks, a machete, two hummers and a manmade crowbar.

And Ms. Katongo says that police have picked up a body of a female aged 28, who was found in a makeshift store near George Central Primary School in George Compound at about 06 hours yesterday.

She says that the woman who was identified by her relatives is believed to have been strangled and might have been raped.

Brothers nabbed for stealing ambulance in Chipata

Police in Chipata, are holding two men of Nabvutika Compound, for stealing an ambulance valued at 670,000 kwacha, property of government.

Eastern Province Police Deputy Commissioner Sharon Zulu has confirmed this to Breeze News this morning.

Ms. Zulu identified the two suspects as Nathan Phiri aged 29 years old and Jackson Phiri aged 24 years old, brothers residing in Nabvutika compound.

Ms. Zulu says the incident happened on Monday this week around 18:30 hours at Chipata Central Hospital.

She says that on the material day, the driver, Gideon Sakala aged 32 years, went to pick up a patient from Mwasemphangwe   area.

Ms. Zulu says upon arrival at Chipata Central Hospital, the driver quickly left the motor vehicle’s engine running, and rushed the patient into the elevator, to be taken to the ward.

She says the driver discovered that the ambulance was missing when he went outside, to check on the vehicle.

She added that the driver was later informed by some people that the ambulance was driven out of the hospital premises heading into town.

The Deputy Police commissioner says the ambulance was spotted along the Great East Road before Referendum area, where the two suspects were apprehended.

Ms. Zulu says Nathan Phiri who stole the vehicle revealed that after stealing the vehicle, he went to pick up his young brother Jackson Phiri in Nabvutika compound and proceeded going to Lusaka.

She says the ambulance had a bicorn on it, and that it was difficult to stop it, stating that nobody can stop an ambulance because people think there is a critical patient inside.

Eastern Water needs K6 million to replace water and sewer pipes in Chipata

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company needs 5.9 million Kwacha to carry out works of replacing water and sewer pipes in Chipata.

Managing Director Lyton Kanowa has confirmed.

Mr. Kanowa says that the company has identified pipe stretches of about 15 kilometers for water supply and 8.3 kilometers of sewer, which need urgent replacement.

Mr. Kanowa says that the pipes are too old and inappropriate adding that the lasting solution is to replace old pipes in Chipata district of about 220 kilometers.

He says that the company has started to discuss with would be funders and hopes to strike a deal within the course of this year.

Mr. Kanowa explains that the company is impaired in that it can only cover a maximum of 70 per cent of the cost coverage because it produces water at one kwacha 20 ngwee and sell at 80 ngwee to about one kwacha per cubic meter.

He adds that as of December 2017, approximately 5 per cent of customers did not pay for the services.

Kasenengwa MP embarrased over delayed road works

Kasenengwa Member of Parliament Victoria Kalima says the failed Chipata-Msoro road tarring project, is her greatest concern.

Ms. Kalima says it is embarrassing for her, because she has for many times, promised people in her constituency, that the road will be worked on, but that nothing positive has been done up to now.

She says the promises started in the year 2014.

She told Breeze News in an interview, after handing over 5,000 kwacha grants to over 50 cooperatives in Mboza ward in Kasenengwa constituency, that she admits the poor state of the road and hopes works will commence this year.

Ms. Kalima who is also Minister of Gender and Child Development says the road, is important because it connects three constituencies, Malambo, Chipangali and Kasenengwa.

She says there is need for the three members of parliament in these constituencies to make follow ups in order for the road to be worked on.

She was reacting to concerns from residents in the area, over the poor state of Chipata-Msoro road.

No new confirmed cholera cases in Eastern

Confirmed cholera cases in Eastern Province have remained at twenty four in the past two days.

Speaking during the cholera update meeting today, Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says that the province has not had any confirmed cases in the last two days.

He however says since yesterday, three new suspected cholera cases have been recorded in Katete District.

Mr. Kasolo says the initial tests have come out positive, but are yet to be confirmed as the culture results are not yet done.

He explained that this brings the total number of people in quarantine in the whole province to six, with one confirmed case in Lundazi, while the other two are in Petauke.

Mr. Kasolo says the total number of confirmed cholera cases may change depending on the result of the culture test that was done on the five suspected cases.

The permanent Secretary says people in the province should continue practicing the interventions that have been put in place.

Cholera broke out in the province on December 28th 2017.

Parliament to resume sittings on February 20

The second session of the 12th National Assembly, which adjourned sine die on December 13th 2017, will resume sitting on February 20th this year.

Roy Ngulube from the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly announced the resumption of sittings of the legislature in a statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka today.

Before the parliament adjourned sine die, Members of Parliament unanimously approved the 72 billion Kwacha 2018 national budget, which was presented by Minister of Finance Felix Mutati.

During this sitting, the front bench will have two new members of Patriotic Front, Kwacha MP, Joe Malanji and Nkana MP Alexander Chiteme, following their appointments as Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister for National Development Planning respectively.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Harry Kalaba, who resigned from his ministerial position early this year, will join the ruling PF backbench that has among others Roan Member of Parliament, Chishimba Kambwili.

Also joining the back bench will be PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri, who was recently nominated to parliament by President Lungu.

Missing from the front bench and parliament will be former nominated MP and National Development Planning Minister, Lucky Mulusa, who was sacked.

ECZ dismiss reports of G12 results being nullified

The Examination Council of Zambia, ECZ has dismissed information circulating on social media that it has nullified the 2017 Grade 12 examination results.

ECZ Director, Michael Chilala, dispelled the information as false in a statement to ZANIS today.

Dr. Chilala says contrary to the purported statement on social media, the 2017 grade 12 results are valid and still accessible on the ECZ SMS platform.

He also says school leavers will access the statements of results during the week beginning 31st January, 2018 from their examination centers.

Dr. Chilala added that the council approved the 2017 grade 12 results on January 18th this year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chilala says the Examination Council of Zambia has extended the registration period for candidates sitting for the 2018 examinations.

Dr. Chilala said the council has set February 16, 2018 as the new closing date.

He has advised examination centers to ensure that all candidates for the 2018 grades 7, 9, 12, GCE and teachers educations are dully registered by the new closing date.

Government gets tough on vendors

The provincial administration says that it will not legalize any illegality.

Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that no illegal street vendors will be allowed to get back to the streets.

Speaking to Breeze News, Mr. Kasolo says that all traders that were removed from the street have to visit the council so that they are given trading stands in markets.

Reacting to reports of street vendors that have gone back to the streets barely a week after being removed, Mr. Kasolo says that anyone abrogating the law will be arrested.

He says that the outbreak of cholera was a big reminder to Zambians to ensure that they improve their standards of hygiene.

Mr. Kasolo further says that all illegal street vendors have to pay taxes to ensure that there is fairness with those operating in markets.

And Mr. Kasolo says that Eastern Province has managed to control the outbreak of cholera as there are only few cases.