Over 14,000 farmers in Chipata redeem inputs

Slightly over 14,000 farmers have redeemed their inputs under the e-voucher system in Chipata district.

District Marketing Development Officer, Michael Zulu says that this is from 45,417 farmers that have so far received their e-voucher cards.

Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Zulu further revealed that 43,759 farmers have deposited their money in the accounts.

He says that the money deposited translates to about 17.5 million Kwacha with about 38,450 farmers receiving their codes to access the inputs.

Mr. Zulu says that the Ministry of Agriculture is on track in dealing with the farmers although there is delay by banks to release the codes.

And speaking during the same programme, Chipata District Farmers Association Coordinator, Virgil Malambo observed that government did not adequately prepare for the e-voucher system.

He says that government should have used a gradual system to roll out the e-voucher to avoid the current challenges, which farmers are experiencing.

Mr. Malambo further indicated that dishonesty among some cooperative leaders was inconveniencing the farmers with some having not received Urea fertilizer to date.

Government says its winning against cholera fight

Government says that the province is performing well in its fight against Cholera.

Eastern Province Minister, Makebi Zulu, says as of today the province has recorded seventeen cases.

He explained that fifteen have been treated and discharged, while one person is still receiving treatment in Lundazi district.

Mr. Zulu says so far, only one death has been recorded.

He says the quarantine center in Chipata district has one unconfirmed case.

The minister says people in the province are at risk of being affected by the epidemic, as the region lies between Lusaka and Malawi, both with a significant number of Cholera cases.

Mr. Zulu says that it is therefore important that Environmental Health Inspectors continue screening people passing through all the main bus stations in the province.

He also says it is important that shallow wells in the province are buried, to prevent people from drinking water that might be contaminated.

Mr. Zulu added that sensitization about how to prevent the spread of cholera, should continue in order for people to have the right information needed in the fight against the disease.

Chadiza council warns illegal beer traders

Residents of Kamwala Compound in Chadiza district have been warned against selling opaque and illicit beer to avoid cholera outbreak.

Chadiza Central Ward Councilor Richard Mbewe says that those selling opaque and illicit beer can only do so after meeting health standards of bars and taverns.

Mr. Mbewe says that Kamwala is one of the compounds in the district which has so many beer selling points but has no toilets.

He says that the sanitary conditions in these beer selling points are bad and exposes people to health dangers like cholera.

Mr. Mbewe indicated that those found selling beer without a certificate of authority from the Council will be prosecuted.

He advised those trading in opaque beer to construct clean toilets and ensure that they apply for a trading certificate at the council.

He further advised residents in the compound to observe high levels of hygiene by ensuring that each house has a clean toilet.

The civic leader was speaking to Breeze News after he toured Kamwala compound in a door to door cholera sensitization campaign with officers from the council and Ministry of Health.

Lecturer referred to High Court for sentencing in indecent assault case

The Chipata Magistrate Court yesterday referred a mathematics lecturer at Chipata Trades Training Institute, who was convicted on three counts of indecent assault on males, to the High Court for sentencing.

Magistrate Moses Mkumba Phiri referred Aswell Banda to the High Court for sentencing because the magistrate court has no authority.

Magistrate Phiri said that consent in indecent assault between a man and a man is not allowed in Zambia and that it is not a defense.

He said that the court was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the prosecution proved its case against the accused in all the three counts.

In his defence Banda told the court that he feels he was unfairly treated at the learning institution when the matter came up.

He said he was surprised and shocked at the allegation leveled against him.

When asked by his lawyer John Phiri from Legal Aid Board whether he had anything to say over the matter after his testimony, Banda said it was not true that he indecently assaulted the three male students who went to his house for consultations on different occasions.

Earlier Banda confirmed that the three students that he is alleged to have indecently assaulted visited his house on different occasions for consultations regarding the subject he was teaching them.

He said a lot of other students had been visiting him at home for the same purpose since 2013 when he started working at the institute.