A problem of lack of a well-functioning mortuary has hit Mambwe district forcing people to quickly bury their dead relatives.
This has angered some residents in the district, who have appealed to government to quickly address the situation.
Speaking to Breeze News, one of the residents, Edward Chulu says that the only mortuary in the district at Kamoto Mission Hospital broke down last year in September and has not been repaired.
Mr. Chulu complained that people are forced to quickly bury their relatives, a situation which is unacceptable especially that burial for some funerals has to wait for relatives, who stay in other parts of the country.
And Mambwe District Commissioner, Caroline Mwanza admitted that the mortuary at Kamoto Mission Hospital is on and off because it is old.
Ms. Mwanza however, indicated that the mortuary is currently working contrary to claims by Mr. Chulu that it is not working.
She says that government is doing everything possible to normalize the situation so that it can have a new mortuary, which can properly service the people.
Patriotic Front PF Party Provincial Secretary, Joseph Kolosa has accused Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director Lytone Kanowa of taking advantage of the massive cleaning exercise to make the ruling party unpopular in Chipata district.
Speaking during a meeting held by the PF party in the showgrounds yesterday, Mr. Kolosa charged that it is surprising that only houses in Chipata are being demolished when the water company has presence in all the districts of Eastern Province.
He charged that the party is aware that Mr. Kanowa is against the Patriotic Front government and is therefore trying to weaken the party in Chipata which is its stronghold.
And Eastern Water Managing Director Lytone Kanowa says that he will not be dragged into politics as his mandate is to provide clean and safe drinking water to the twenty thousand paying customers the company has in the province and nothing else.
He says his company has no mandate to demolish structures as that is done by the council who can either act on the technical advice the company gives or not.
Mr. Kanowa says that it is true that over one hundred and twenty structures in the district are built on top of underground water and sewer lines.
He says demolishing these structures is not only to protect the company infrastructure which if damaged would interfere with the service of supplying water to customers, but also safe guarding the lives of the people living in houses, which are on top of these lines as they are a time bomb waiting to happen.
The National Democratic Congress NDC Party has charged that the PF, Patriotic Front government is running down the economy.
Provincial Chairperson, Samuel Lugomo Phiri says that this is evidenced by how government is failing to run the agriculture sector.
Speaking in a walk in interview, Mr. Phiri says that there is no way that farmers can start accessing inputs at this period and expect that they will have a good yield.
He charged that the e-voucher system under FISP, the Farmer Input Support Programme is a total failure as it has been poorly managed.
Mr. Phiri further says that he cannot understand why farmers, who sold maize to FRA, the Food Reserve Agency early last year are still struggling to get their payment.
And Mr. Phiri says that members of NDC should not be intimidated by members of any political party because they have not done anything wrong.
He says that the members should concentrate on mobilizing the opposition political party and stay away from trouble.
Government has clarified that Chichele Presidential Lodge in Mfuwe has not been sold.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that the lodge is only on lease, which is about to expire.
Mr. Kasolo explained that this is why the current people running the lodge decided to advertise the lease to cut down on losses and make profits.
He says that Zambians should take advantage of the opportunity to buy the remaining eight year lease.
Mr. Kasolo pointed out that government would like Zambians to take charge of most lodges because most foreign owned lodges keep 80 per cent of their money abroad.
He says that this does not benefit Zambia in any way because foreign lodge owners are supposed to keep their investment in Zambia and only take out profits.
Mr. Kasolo indicated that he is aware that the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism is trying to address this matter to ensure that the country benefits.
He was speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM.
Provincial administration has warned anyone with intentions to demonstrate over removal of street vendors and demolition of illegal structures in Chipata that they will be arrested.
Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that he has information that some people are intending to carry out protests at his office.
Speaking during a live radio programme dubbed “The Voice” on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Kasolo says that rules have to be followed because he came to Eastern Province to work and not to make himself popular.
And Mr. Kasolo says that Chipata City Council and the mayor do not have authority to discipline or summon management from Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.
Mr. Kasolo says that only the permanent secretary has authority to discipline any person working in the civil service and parastatals in Eastern Province.
He says that according to the reporting lines, the mayor reports directly to the provincial minister and minister of local government while the town clerk and his executive officers report to the provincial local government officer, who then reports to him as provincial permanent secretary.
Mr. Kasolo explained that this was among the reasons why Provincial Minister, Makebi Zulu advised Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director, Lyton Kanowa against appearing at the council when he was summoned over the demolition of houses.
Meanwhile Mr. Kasolo revealed that lack of funds has made it difficult for his office to fight the illegal mining taking place in various parts of the province.
He stated that he was directed by the minister of mines to flash out all the illegal miners in Nyimba, Petauke, Lundazi and Vubwi districts.
Alleged mismanagement of resources is reported to have affected works of constructing Lundazi Trades Training Institute.
But authorities in Lundazi have however, dismissed the allegation that works at the learning institute stalled because of resource mismanagement.
Lundazi District Building Officer Felix Kaite says that delay in the completion of the institute was because government has not been funding the project for some time now.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Mr. Kaite stated that this has resulted into the contractor running behind the scheduled time of completion.
Mr. Kaite told Breeze News that the project is likely to resume this year, although he was unable to give a specific time when the project will resume.
He stated that it was up to the Ministry of Higher Education to honour the certificate of payment in good time for the works to resume.
About 21 million kwacha was budgeted for the construction of the project.
A Congolese national who was charged with unlawful entry into Zambia has been acquitted by the Chipata Magistrate Court.
This was in a matter where John Chichi from DR Congo was charged with unlawful entry into Zambia.
Facts of the matter are that on January 6th 2018, police had detained the Congolese national, who had no entry documents or documents that allowed him to stay in Zambia.
Resident Magistrate Boniface Mwala who acquitted Chichi said the matter was brought before the court in a premature manner that lacked enough evidence.
Seventeen street vendors have been arrested following confusion that ensured last evening during an operation of removing street vendors from the streets in the central business area in Chipata.
Police were forced to use tear gas canister to disperse the unruly street vendors, who resorted to throwing stones at vehicles, which were being used by officers from the council, Zambia Police and DEC, Drug Enforcement Commission.
And speaking during today’s cholera update meeting, Director of Legal Affairs Lynn Galapa confirmed that 17 street vendors had been picked during the confusion.
She says that fifteen of the vendors are male while two are female adding that the number of those in custody has increased to twenty.
Ms. Galapa adds that the vendors who were caught selling on the street and that those who were throwing stones will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
She says that the vendors will be released after 48 hours because they cannot be kept for longer than that period.
Ms. Galapa however, says that the vendors will be dragged to court after the fast truck court starts operating.
The Director of Legal says the council in partnership with the Zambia Police, DEC and the Immigration Department will continue patrolling the district to ensure that there is compliance.
President Edgar Lungu has appointed Patriotic Front PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Australia.
President Lungu has congratulated the former priest on his appointment to the diplomatic mission.
And President Lungu says that the appointments into Foreign Service are a preserve of the president.
He says that he is therefore, greatly concerned that there is a perception that when one has been appointed into Foreign Service, they will be there permanently.
Mr. Lungu says that those serving in Foreign Service, once their tour of duty has come to an end, will be recalled and either redeployed locally or abroad.
The head of state was speaking on Friday morning when he swore in Mr. Bwalya
Chipata City Council Mayor, Sinoya Mwale has directed the Council Town Clerk and the legal department to make follow ups on two contractors, who failed to deliver the skip truck and the rig drilling machine.
Mr. Mwale says the two departments should use court bailiffs in order to recover the money from the contractors.
He says this is because the two contractors have failed to fulfill their promises.
The mayor said this yesterday during a full council meeting.
Mr. Mwale says deadline for the contractor, who is paying back money for the rig machine, was 31st January, while the contractor paying back money for the skip truck had promised to finish paying on January 15th.
He says the two contractors need to be followed up and taken to task because they are not serious in paying back the money.