Over 2000 farmers in Chipata fail to collect inputs

The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, CSPR in Eastern Province says is it is devastated to learn that more than 2,500 farmers in Chipata district have not yet collected their farming inputs for the 2017/2018 farming season.

CSPR Provincial Coordinator Maxon Nkhoma says the failure by the government to deposit funds into the accounts of more than 2,500 farmers in Chipata district is a source of concern.

In a statement availed to Breeze FM News, Mr. Nkhoma says CSPR is worried because the reduction of poverty may not be attainable when household food security is compromised.

Mr. Nkhoma says CSPR sympathizes with individual affected farmers in Chipata district for failure by the government to give them farming inputs.

He has challenged government to explain circumstances that have led to more than 2,500 farmers in Chipata district not receiving their inputs.

Mr. Nkhoma adds that it is unreasonable and inconsiderate on part of government to fail to deposit funds into the accounts of farmers.

The CSPR Provincial Coordinator has therefore, appealed to Eastern province minister to explain to farmers if government still takes the agriculture sector seriously.

District Agriculture Coordinator, Mathews Ngulube could not be reached for comment by News time.

NAPSA reaches out to taxi and bus drivers

Bus and taxi drivers in Eastern Province have agreed to a proposal to start making contributions to NAPSA, the National Pensions Scheme Authority

This means that bus and taxi owners will not be allowed to register their vehicles with RTSA the Road Transport and Safety Agency, if they do not register their drivers with NAPSA.

This came to light during a consultative meeting held by RTSA and NAPSA yesterday in Chipata district where RTSA wanted to get the views of the drivers before signing the MoU, Memorandum of Understanding with NAPSA.

Speaking during the consultative meeting, RTSA Principle Licensing Officer Anthony Chewe said that social security for bus and taxi drivers is a law but many employers tend to ignore.

He explained that because of the informality of the transport sector in the country, most bus and taxi drivers are uncertain about their future earning and live life in fear of the day when they will no longer earn a living.

Mr. Chewe said that RTSA could not agree with NAPSA to sign the MoU without consulting the drivers on whether they were for the idea or not.

The Principle Licensing officer says that once drivers are socially secure, the drivers will start complying with traffic laws because they will know that they are socially secure and don’t have to break the law in order to make more money.

Lundazi Central MP challenged

Residents of Lundazi central constituency have complained over the area member of parliament’s performance since he was voted into office.

The residents have charged that Lawrence Nyirenda is not representing his constituency during parliament sessions, as expected.

Speaking to Breeze FM News, one of the residents Blessings Banda says it is regrettable that from the time Mr. Nyirenda was voted into office, no development has been recorded in his constituency.

Mr. Banda complained that despite the constituency having a lot of stalled projects like the construction of Lundazi- Chama road and construction of Umi primary and Umi secondary schools, Mr. Nyirenda has never been heard bringing out such issues in parliament.

He adds that it is unfortunate that the issue of Umi schools was being raised by an MP from Kaputa when Mr. Nyirenda who is a custodian of the area in question had never spoken about it since he was voted into office.

Mr. Banda expressed the need for Mr.  Nyirenda to represent the people of his constituency by pushing for development in the constituency.

And efforts to get a comment from Lundazi Constituency Member of Parliament Lawrence Nyirenda failed as his mobile phone went unanswered by News time.

Man gets five years for illegal ivory

The Chipata Magistrates Court has sentenced a man of Chief Saili’s area in Chipata district to five years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of being found in possession of prescribed trophy.

Appearing before Magistrate Moses Mkumba Phiri yesterday for sentencing was Martin Daka.

Particulars of the offence are that Daka, on December 31st 2017, in Chipata had in his possession six pieces of ivory without certificate of ownership from the Director of National Parks and Wildlife.

Daka who denied having committed the offence told the court in his defense that the owner of the ivory, a Mr. Phiri ran away and that he was instead arrested.

In his judgement, Magistrate Phiri said the court was satisfied that the prosecution had proved its case against the convict.

He said Daka did not show remorse as he declined in saying anything in mitigation, because he was not satisfied with the court’s ruling.

Magistrate Phiri therefore, sentenced Daka to five years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from December 31st 2017.

Police intensify patrols during Easter

Police in Chipata will today start operation orders during the day and night in an effort to maintain order during the Easter holiday.

Eastern Province Police Deputy Commissioner Sharon Zulu says measures have been put in place in ensuring there is law and order during the long weekend.

Ms. Zulu says during this period, there will be motorized and foot patrols during the day and night.

She says the law will be applied to people especially motorists who have a tendency of drinking alcohol while driving.

She told Breeze FM News that the same operations will be expected to be implemented in all the districts in the province.

Police launch manhunt for armed criminals

Police in Chipata have instituted an investigation into an incident where armed criminals attacked a man of Moth area and got away with property worth 19 thousand kwacha.

Eastern Province Police Deputy Commissioner Sharon Zulu has named the complainant in the matter as Samson Zulu.

Ms. Zulu says the incident happened on Monday this week at about 22 hours at Mr. Zulu’s residence.

She says on the material day at around 22 hours, Mr. Zulu’s son was outside the yard and that he was ambushed as he was going to open the gate to enter the house.

Ms. Zulu says the criminals who were armed with a pistol and iron bars got hold of him and ordered him to knock at the door of the house.

She says in the process, Mr. Zulu opened the door, thinking that it was  his son who was knocking, but that he was surprised to see that his son was being carried by intruders, armed with a pistol and iron bars.

She adds that in fear, Mr. Zulu gave the criminals 7,000 kwacha cash and about ten cell phones that were in the house, after they demanded money from him.

Ms. Zulu says that after being given the money and cell phones, the criminals locked all the family members in one room.

She explained that after sometime, the criminals left, stating that the complainant managed to break the door from the room where they were held captive and discovered that his pistol and a laptop were stolen.

Retirees ask President Lungu to assist them get terminal benefits

The Public Service Retirees Association of Zambia is appealing to government to pay retirees who have not been paid for twenty years now.

Association Provincial Chairperson Evans Malama says that only 96 out of about 2,000 retirees have been paid national wide.

Mr. Malama told Breeze FM News that some of the retirees have died due to depression and that those who are still living have continued to suffer.

He says with the high cost of living, retirees have been greatly affected as they are unable to put food on the table.

Mr. Malama explains that from the time the court made a judgement that retirees should be paid on December 23rd 2011, the previous and the current governments have not been serious in handling their plight.

Mr. Malama has therefore, appealed to President Edgar Lungu to facilitate the process of paying retirees and ensure that the payment is made by the end of June this year.

Lack of accomodation forces teachers to squat in classrooms

Lack of accommodation for teachers at Kamwanjili Primary School in Mambwe district is reported to have forced some teachers to start living in classrooms.

Speaking in an interview with journalists, Benda Banda who is a concerned parent in the area says that the lack of accommodation for teachers at the school has been a problem for a while.

She says that the decision by the school administration to turn the classroom into a house means that the over four hundred pupils at the school do not have enough classrooms for their lessons, leading to congestion in classrooms.

Ms. Banda says that the community has molded over twenty thousand bricks to help in building staff houses but lack of funds, as created challenges in procuring other building materials.

And commenting on the matter, Provincial Education Officer Allan Lingambe says that he will engage the District Education Board Secretary for Mambwe District to get details on the matter and find a solution.

He says that if there are no houses in the area where teachers can rent, then the Ministry of Education needs to sit down with the PTA, Parent Teachers Association and other stakeholders to come up with a way forward to sort out the problem.

He says most rural schools in the province have serious critical shortage of staff accommodation and PTAs have played a big role in ensuring that houses for teachers are built.

Eastern water to introduce performance based contracts

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company is to introduce performance based contracts this year for its workers.

This is expected to address issues of unretired impress, missing payment vouchers and poor record keeping as cited in the auditor general’s report.

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director, Lytone Kanowa said this when he appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee yesterday.

Mr. Kanowa stated that there is need for the company to introduce performance based contracts and build capacity among members of staff to improve capacity.

He further stated that the company needs restructuring to ensure multi-skilling to get the most out of personnel.

Mr. Kanowa also disclosed that from its 2015-2017 business plan, the company only achieved 55 per cent of the plan while non-revenue water stood at 38 per cent instead of 25 per cent.

Meanwhile commercial water utility companies in the country have been operating without boards for some time now.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development Eddy Chomba says that establishment of boards has been delayed because of the moving of commercial water utilities from Ministry of Local Government to Ministry of Energy and Water Development.

Speaking when he appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee, Bishop Chomba, who was inquired over the delay to set up boards, noted that the boards will be put in place this year.

Various members of the parliamentary committee expressed concern that all utility water companies in the country seem to be facing similar challenges especially dilapidated infrastructure.

 Meanwhile most underground water in Eastern Province has high content of calcium.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development Eddy Chomba disclosed this when he appeared before the parliamentary public accounts committee yesterday.

Bishop Chomba explained that the calcium content is so high that if water is not properly treated, it can block a water pipe.

Lundazi prosecutor jailed for corruption

The Lundazi Magistrate Court has sentenced a prosecutor for Zambia Police in Lundazi to two years, four months imprisonment with hard labour for corruption.

Resident Magistrate Destiny Kalusopa found Dominic Chiboboka 30, guilty on one count of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 19 (1)of the anti-corruption Act no. 3 of 2012.

Details of the offence are that Chiboboka in January 2016 in Lundazi, being a Zambia police public prosecutor based at Lundazi Police, corruptly solicited for 3, 000 Kwacha.

He actually received 2, 000 Kwacha  from John Nyirenda of Mkawa village in Lundazi, in order to facilitate the withdrawal of a case of rape that he was prosecuting involving Tenthema Nyirenda, a nephew to John Nyirenda.

This is according to a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday by Anti-Corruption Commission Corporate Affairs Officer Jonathan Siame.

Mr. Siame said Chiboboka was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission in January 2017.

Meanwhile, the Lundazi Magistrate Court also convicted two Community Crime Prevention Officers for corruption.

Joseph Demba, 58, of Kamwezi village in Chief Zumwanda’s area and Alick Lungu, 52, of Chinyalubwe of the same area were jointly charged with one count of corrupt practices by a public officer contrary to section 19 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.

 

 

He said the duo on dates unknown but between March 9, 2015 and March 15, 2015 in Lundazi, being Public Officers under Lundazi Police Neighbourhood Watch, jointly and whilst acting together corruptly solicited and actually received K360 cash from Bydon Zimba.

This was a bribe in order not to formally report the allegations of murder against him and his family to Lundazi Police.

Mr. Siame stated that the duo was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from 23rd March, 2018.