Chipata City Council accused of mismanaging funds

A civic leader in Chipata district says auditors are quickly needed at Chipata City Council.

Chipangali Ward Councilor, Kennedy Shumba, says auditors are quickly needed because resources such as Ward Development Fund and the equalization fund have for many years not been used appropriately.

Mr. Shumba told Breeze News that for the past one year he has been in office, he has not seen how the equalization fund has been used.

Mr. Shumba says he is in support of some sections of society calling for auditors to audit the council, because some civic leaders have not seen how transparent the local authority is.

He says unnecessary things like a TV and DSTV decorder for the mayor’s office have been procured using some of these funds.

He added that CDF, the Constituency Development Fund is also not being handled in a proper way.

On Monday, Chipata City Mayor, Sinoya Mwale told Breeze News that people who are saying council officials are corrupt, should name them and report to ACC, the Ant-Corruption Commission.

Meanwhile, Chipata City Council Town Clerk Davies Musenge says aggrieved councilorS should present issues affecting them to the council, stating that councilors are part of the local authority.

Mr. Musenge says equalization fund is not only used for capital projects, but that is it used for other projects such as paying salaries for the workers.

He says the council will engage councilors in sensitizing them on how the fund is being used.

Fuel increase sparks mixed reactions

People in Chipata district have received the sudden upward adjustment in fuel prices with mixed feelings.

Daniel Sakala told Breeze News that the adjustment will have a negative impact on people’s economic activities.

Mr. Sakala says the increment has come at a wrong time, adding that in future, ERB should engage citizens, as they are the major stakeholders.

He says the development is retrogressive.

However, Moses Zulu says while the increase is sudden, Zambian must understand that the country does not produce fuel.

He says non fuel producing countries such as Zambia, are always affected by decisions in countries where the commodity is imported from and the performance of the currency.

And some motorists have told Breeze News that most fuel service stations in Chipata have already effected the new prices.

Yesterday, the Energy Regulation Board increased the price of petrol by 0.78 Ngwee from 12.97 to 13.75 kwacha per litter, while diesel went up by 0.92 Ngwee from 11.09 to 12.01 kwacha per litter.

Parrafin was increased by slightly over One Kwacha from 7.82 to 8.85 kwacha per litter.

In a statement, ERB explained that the increment in the fuel pump prices is as a result of the increase in international oil prices and the depreciation of the Kwacha against major trading currencies such as the United States Dollar.

ZCCB calls for reduction in radio license fees

The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops ZCCB has called for a review of the high radio license fees in the country.

Communications Director, Winfield Kunda says that the high fees are a threat to many radio stations especially in rural areas where they have little or no advertising revenue.

Fr. Kunda says this in message to commemorate World Radio Day, which falls today and is being celebrated under the theme “Radio and Sports”.

He says that although the radio stations help the government in communicating messages of development in many spheres, it seems the government has not appreciated it fully due to the high license fees being charged.

Fr. Kunda however, says that the Catholic Media Services acknowledges that IBA, the Independent Broadcasting Authority has facilitated the growth of the radio industry in Zambia resulting in many radio stations being set up.

And Fr. Kunda has advised Radio station owners to instruct their presenters to always abreast themselves with research and enough information before they go on air.

He says that it is sad to note that some presenters don’t even countercheck facts or even filter facts from falsehood before they could present them.

Meanwhile the ZCCB has described the theme for this year’s World Radio Day as important especially when sports can be used in peace building.

He says that Radio stations should do away with the notion that sports is only football but must go an extra mile in researching and popularizing other sports.

The ZCCB communications director has further called on radio station owners to pay their workers well.

He has further called on advertising Agencies that deal with radio stations across the country to be truthful and honour agreements made before securing airspace.

Thirty years imprisonment for defilers

The Chipata High Court has sentenced a man of Petauke district to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of defilement.

Appearing before Lusaka based Judge Mwape Dancewell Bowa for sentencing yesterday was Alex Daka.

Facts before the court are that Daka, was caught pants down by his wife, having carnal knowledge of his step-daughter in his maize field.

According to the court records, Daka infected the victim and his wife with a sexually transmitted infection.

In mitigation, Legal Aid Counsel Sally Bwalya, who spoke on behalf of the convict asked the court to exercise leniency as he is a first offender, who is remorseful for his actions.

When passing ruling, Judge Bowa said he had taken into consideration, the mitigation submitted on behalf of the convict.

He however, said that the sad tale in the matter is that the convict defiled an innocent child and infected her with an STI, a Sexually Transmitted Infection, together with his wife.

He said such people need to be caged in society for a long period of time to protect the lives of women.

Others who were sentenced of the same offence are Bright Chungu aged 47 years old of Petauke district, who was also sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour, for defiling a 9 year old girl and infecting her with a sexually transmitted infection.

Fuckson Ngoma of Chipata district, aged 57 years old, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour for sexually abusing a 10 year old girl, while Victor Mbewe of Chipata district, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of incest.

Dausi Phiri, aged 20 years of Chipata district was given 15 years for defilement.

Meanwhile Lameck Phiri, of Petauke district, who was facing one count of rape, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labor while, Michael S. Mawere, aged 35 years of Chipata district, who took an underage girl into his house, and defiled her for two months, on the pretext that he will marry her, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Judge Bowa advised all the convicted persons to appeal to the court of appeal if they are not satisfied with the court’s ruling.

MMD reveals abuse of party vehicles

The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD has revealed rampant abuse of its vehicles by its members in Eastern Province.

Provincial Spokesperson, Zephaniah Kaleya says that out of about 13 vehicles, only 6 are still running and members are treating them like personal to holder.

Mr. Kaleya further says that the party leadership has information that two of the vehicles have been sold without authority from the leadership.

He says that for those vehicles which are working, the party is not benefiting in any way as those entrusted with the vehicles are not giving the party proceeds of the businesses they are doing.

Mr. Kaleya has warned that the party will soon engage police in the matter adding that those who bought the vehicles will also be questioned.

He says that it is unfortunate that the vehicles which are supposed to benefit the whole party are benefiting a few individuals.

Flash floods hit some parts of Mambwe district

Flash floods hit some parts of Mambwe district over the weekend causing damage to crops, which were submerged in water.

Provincial Meteorological Officer, John Londolo confirmed this to Breeze News, stating that affected areas included Chikowa in Chief Jumbe.

Mr. Londolo says that the flash floods were caused by heavy rains experienced in the plateau areas of Chipata district.

He says that the floods lasted for about one hour before subsiding, which was not long enough for crops to be badly damaged.

However, some residents in Chiwawatala area in Chief Kakumbi say that they were equally affected and crop fields remained flooded for almost the whole day.

Meanwhile Mr. Londolo says that the Meteorological Department does not foresee any serious floods in Eastern Province as the weather pattern has now returned to normal rain season.

He says that serious tropical cyclones in Madagascar, which were affecting rainfall activities in Eastern and Southern Provinces have now cleared.

Mr. Londolo says that farmers should not lose hope that

Government confirm double registration for grade nine candidates

The Ministry of Education has confirmed double registration of some candidates, who are supposed to sit for external grade nine examinations.

Provincial Education Officer, Allan Lingambe says that the names for some candidates, who are supposed to sit for external examinations in June, are appearing on the list of candidates for internal examinations, which will be conducted at the end of this year.

Speaking to Breeze News, Dr. Lingambe explained that some school administrators registered the repeating candidates twice after ECZ, the Examination Council of Zambia delayed to respond to the first registration, where external candidates were included.

He says that his office will be holding a meeting with the affected schools to see how best the situation can be handled.

Dr. Lingambe further indicated that candidates might be given a choice to choose on whether to site for the external exams or internal exams later in the year.

He further stated that it was too early to state if the schools will have to refund the candidates, who paid for external exams but have their names appearing on the internal examination list.

Street vending now officially illegal

A statutory instrument that qualifies street vending as illegal in Zambia has been enacted.

Chipata Mayor, Sinoya Mwale, says the Street Vending and Nuisance amendment regulation act was signed on February 9th and the Chipata City Council received a copy today.

He says the new law that allows local authorities to prosecute and charge anyone found trading on the streets has been signed.

Mr. Mwale says this will help maintain cleanliness and good sanitation in the streets of Chipata.

He says that the act was previously in existence to guide the local authority on how to handle street vendors.

And Mr. Mwale says authorized trading areas in Chipata still have enough space to accommodate every street vendor in the district.

He has urged all people, who are still selling their merchandise in the streets to go back to designated trading places as the council will not hesitate to prosecute anyone found vending.

A man sentenced to 30 years for defilement

The Chipata high Court has sentenced a man of Chipata district to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of defilement.

Appearing before Lusaka based judge, Mwape Dancewell Bowa this morning for sentencing, was John Njobvu.

In mitigation, legal aid counsel Sally Bwalya, who spoke on behalf of the convict, asked the court to exercise leniency, as he is a first offender and that he is remorseful for his actions.

In passing ruling, Judge Bowa said he had considered the mitigation submitted on behalf of the convict.

He, however, said cases of defilement are on an increase in the country.

Judge Bowa said it was unfortunate that the convict, who was found pants down during the act, sexually abused the innocent child known to him and infected her with a sexually transmitted infection.

He therefore, sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour, with effect from the day of his arrest

Head teachers warned against misleading people

The Ministry of General Education in Eastern Province has warned Head teachers who enroll pupils that failed grade nine examinations, to grade six classes.

Provincial Education Officer, Allan Lingambe clarified saying that there is no policy which states that grade nine failures will be required to go back and repeat grade six.

Dr. Lingambe was reacting to reports that a head teacher at Chipikula Primary School in Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s area, has enrolled grade nine failures into grade six.

Dr. Lingambe, who confirmed receiving the report says he has instructed the District Education Board Secretary to summon the head teacher and warn him strongly, because he is misleading the community.

He says such classes will be disbanded and that head teachers will be disciplined.

Dr. Lingambe says he had a meeting with head teachers yesterday, to clarify on the matter.

He says the ministry’s policy is clear, affirming that pupils who fail grade nine, are given another opportunity to sit for examinations under external system and that, they only sit for subjects they did not do well.