2018 Nc’wala described as a success

Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people in Chipata District says this year’s Ncwala traditional ceremony was more successful than those held in previous years.

Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Chief Madzimawe says this year’s Ncwala Traditional ceremony was better organized compared to past ceremonies.

He says misconduct by some unruly people, who attend the ceremony were avoided.

Chief Madzimawe also expressed happiness that no road accidents were recorded during the period of the N’cwala ceremony.

He adds that the absence of the president did not impact the ceremony in any negative way.

Gogo Madzimawe says the ceremony is important because it brings people from different political affiliations together.

Army worms attack 5,000 hectors of crop fields in Lundazi

Over 500 hectors in different parts of Lundazi district have been affected by army worms.

This has affected about 6,300 farmers from the time the army worms broke out last year.

Lundazi district agriculture coordinating officer, Philemon Lungu, confirmed this to Breeze News this morning.

Mr. Lungu says it has not been easy for his office to control the pest from spreading to more areas due to the unavailability of funds for government to purchase chemicals.

He says the district has so far received 300 liters of chemicals to distribute to farmers whose fields have affected.

Mr. Lungu explained that due to insufficient chemicals, only farmers, who are not under the Farmers Input Support Program, FISP, will be given the chemicals for free.

He added that those under FISP program can redeem the chemical using the E-voucher cards.

Mr. Lungu further urged farmers across the district to be on the lookout for army worms and report any suspicions so that measures can be put in place to control any further spread.

UPND MP Keith Mukata sentenced to hang for murder

United Party for National Development UPND Member of Parliament Keith Mukata has been sentenced to death by hanging by the Lusaka High Court for Murder.

 

Mukata’s girlfriend and co-accused Charmanine Musonda has been set free due to lack of evidence.

 

This is a matter where the duo are alleged to have murdered a security guard Namakambwa Kalilakwenda 63, last year, an employee from Men in Black Security Company operating from AKM Legal Practitioners owned by Mukata.

HH accuses government of destroying agriculture sector

The United Party for National Development UPND says the Patriotic Front PF Party has destroyed the agriculture sector with its alleged corrupt ways of leadership.

UPND President Hakainde Hichilema says that the Patriotic Front government has completely ignored the plight of the people by destroying the agriculture sector in the country.

Mr. Hichilema says vulnerable farmers are being exploited through the introduction of systems that are not benefiting the farmers, citing the E-voucher system as a major cause of the delayed distribution of farm inputs.

He also noted that farmers are not benefiting from any of these systems, adding that the reduction in the market floor price for the 2016 -2017 farming season was a mockery to the farmers.

He says UPND has a strong policy framework and will strive hard to reinstate the Agriculture sector in the country, by replacing the E-voucher system with efficient systems that will ensure viability of farmers in the country.

Mr. Hichilema was speaking during a card renewal exercise held at Mpezeni Park Square in Chipata yesterday.

PS Kasolo apologises to farmers over challenges in e-voucher

Government says that it is aware of some of the challenges the Electronic voucher system has faced this year, and promises that the system will be improved.

Speaking during a press briefing held in Chipata district yesterday, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that it is a pity that some politicians are trying to use the challenges government has faced in implementing the E-voucher to accuse government of having failed Zambians.

He says that it is true that the E-voucher system has had some challenges because while most farmers have received their farming inputs, some farmers have not yet received their inputs.

Mr. Kasolo says that this is because the E-voucher system is a new program, which has not yet been perfected by government.

He says that those that are objective will admit that the system has closed a lot of loopholes that existed in the old system.

Mr. Kasolo says farmers now have more control over where and how they want to get their inputs without unscrupulous people taking advantage of them.

The Permanent secretary apologized on behalf of government to the affected farmers over the hiccups faced in the E-voucher system this season.

He promised farmers that the system will be better next year stating that farming inputs will be distributed on time.

Street vending in Mfuwe a danger to tourism

Alleged street vending in the Cropping area of Mambwe district is reported to be posing a health hazard to tourism activities in the area.

Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary Zephaniah Kaleya says that it is unfortunate that numbers of street vendors trading next to the national park is slowly increasing.

Mr. Kaleya told Breeze News that the area where vendors have gone back to trade from, has no water, toilets and electricity, a situation he says is hazardous and vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

He says with the help of the recently signed statutory instrument on street vending, there is urgent need for the local authority to intervene before business in the tourism sector is disturbed.

Mr. Kaleya expressed concern that if the situation is left to reach the extent of a disease outbreak, it may lead to closure of most lodges near Cropping area, which might as well lead to most people becoming jobless.

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.