Kalaba maintains corruption in government

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has maintained that swelling levels of corruption in government forced him to abandon his ministerial position.

And Mr. Kalaba says that permanent secretaries in the country have been reduced into political cadres who dance for the president at airports.

Speaking during a special Hot Seat Programme on HOT FM in Lusaka, which was broadcast live on Breeze FM this morning, Mr. Kalaba says that he could not work with a government that sides with minority businessmen instead of the majority Zambians.

He dismissed statements that Malawian Prophet Shepard Bushiri of Enlightened Christian Gathering in South Africa had influenced him to resign from government because of prophesy that he will become republican president.

Mr. Kalaba revealed that he had serious problems with government projects and contracts like the purchase of 42 fire tenders, the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway and auction of Mkula logs through ZAFFICO.

He pointed out the procurement of the 1.2 billion United States dollars Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway, which he says could have been done at a lesser cost through PPP, Private Public Partnership.

Mr. Kalaba says a bidder had won the bid on PPP arrangement at half the price but government opted to obtain a loan at huge cost.

And Mr. Kalaba says that permanent secretaries should be appointed through the normal civil service unlike presidential appointments.

He noted that permanent secretaries are currently forced to please the appointing authorities, which makes them go to the extent of dancing at airports for the president.

The former minister however defended presidential foreign trips stating that the country needs to be marketed.

Meanwhile Mr. Kalaba has maintained that he will not resign from his position as Member of Parliament for Bahati Constituency because the PF, Patriotic Front Party is separate from government.

He says that this is why people from other political parties like the MMD have been appointed ministers.

And the Bahati law maker has condemned political violence and politics of tribalism and regionalism, stating that it will not assist Zambia in any way.

He also distanced himself from NDC, the National Democratic Congress           Party, stating that he has no intentions of joining the Chishimba Kambwili led political party.

Two men discharged of murder case

Two men of Lundazi district, who were facing one count of murder, have been discharged by the Chipata High Court.

This was after the state entered a Nolle Prosequi in the matter.

Facts before the court are that James Msimuko and Tulason Mtonga, on 18th August, 2016 in Lundazi district, murdered Maston Mtonga.

Lusaka based Judge Mwape Dancewell Bowa who released the two after the application made by the state, however said that the discharge is not an acquittal.

Judge Bowa said the two are free for now, but that they can be re-arrested anytime if there will be sufficient evidence against them.

The two showed a faint smile as they walked to freedom from the dock.

Cement prices go down

Prices for cement have continued to reduce in Chipata district.

A check by Breeze News in some shops revealed that the price of the commodity, which had gone up to 95 Kwacha per 50 kilogramme bag is now at 75 Kwacha.

Dealers spoken to attributed the price reduction to a downward price adjustment by wholesalers.

And some of the residents found buying the commodity expressed happiness that different brands of cement were now selling at the same price.

John Mwanza explained that he had to suspend his construction works when the price of cement had hit 95 Kwacha because he could not afford.

Meanwhile a check on the exchange rate found that the United States dollar is now buying at 9 Kwacha 60 Ngwee and selling at 9 Kwacha 87 Ngwee while the Pound is buying at 13 Kwacha 51 Ngwee and selling at 13 Kwacha 78 Ngwee.

The Euro is buying at 11 Kwacha 98 Ngwee and selling at 12 Kwacha 22 Ngwee while the South Africa Rand is buying at 80 Ngwee and selling at 82 Ngwee.

Four families stranded after heavy rains

Four families in Makangila ward of Luangeni Constituency are reported to be squatting in other people’s homes after their houses were destroyed by heavy rains a month ago.

Makangila Ward Councilor Daniel Mwanza told Breeze News that the families have become destitute because DMMU, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit has not responded to their plight.

Mr. Mwanza says that the houses for the affected families had their roofs blown off by the heavy rains.

He says that, despite having reported the issue and making follow ups with DMMU to see how the affected families could be assisted, nothing has been done to date.

Mr. Mwanza says that since the incident happened, the affected families have been relying on begging for food, shelter and other necessities from neighbors for them to survive.

The incident, which happened on the 9th of January 2018, also affected two churches whose roofs were blown off while 200 chickens died on the spot after the chicken run collapsed.

And Chipata District Commissioner Kalunga Zulu, denied receiving a report on the matter.

He however, confirmed seeing a letter with a similar issue but that the letter was not addressed to him and it did not indicate where the incident happened.

Mr. Zulu stated that any disaster related issues in the district should be addressed to him, as he is the chairperson for the DMMU committee.

Fishermen in Chipata defy fish ban

Illegal fishing activities in Chipata district have continued despite a fish ban.

District Fisheries Officer Zacheus Nkunika has confirmed, stating that some fishermen have completely ignored the fish ban, which started in December last year and will end in March.

Mr. Nkunika says that a lot of fish species in the country breed between December and March and that the fish ban is meant to enable the fish to breed without interference from people.

He says that the department has carried out sensitization on the importance of the fish ban and continued to carry out patrols of all the areas where fishing activities usually take place.

Mr. Nkunika however, says that the Fisheries Department has been unable to carry out many patrols, as they do not have adequate funding from the government.

He further says that although the Fisheries Department has made a number of arrests, no one has been convicted as they were all just warned and released.

The district fisheries officer has appealed to people to desist from any illegal fishing activities because it is a crime adding that anyone involved, will be arrested and prosecuted in the courts of law.