Chipata Central Member of Parliament, Moses Mawere, has announced that government it will de-gazette Chipata local forest reserve for settlement.
Today the settlers in the forest reserve chanted joyful songs as Mr. Mawere, who is also Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development made the announcement when he was addressing them.
Mr. Mawere assured the residents not to panic as the land will be de-gazetted.
Mr. Mawere said despite him not being around since the issues of having the settlers evicted from the forest reserve started, he has been fighting for the de-gazetting of the area on behalf of residents, to the higher authorities.
He noted that it is, however, important for people, who have settled in the area to acknowledge the fact that the area is indeed a forest reserve and not a settlement area.
Mr. Mawere said the rapid growth of the district has come with demand for land, which led to people ending up encroaching on such areas.
He however, summoned the area chairpersons to a meeting to be held at provincial administration on Monday next week, to convey the message to the provincial minister that the land shall be de-gazetted.
Government has instructed that the performance of all agriculture extension officers in Eastern Province be reviewed.
The Provincial Administration has therefore, asked the Provincial Agriculture Coordinator to instruct all District Agriculture Coordinators to carry out the review.
Speaking during a press briefing in Chipata, Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, says government has discovered that some of the enemies of the E-Voucher system are the extension workers, who were employed to help the system work, but are instead sabotaging it.
He says extension officers that were benefiting from the old system are discouraging farmers from registering for the E-Voucher system.
Mr. Kasolo notes that this is being done so that government can be forced to revert to the old system, where there were loopholes for officers to create ghost farmers.
Mr. Kasolo says that the E-Voucher system faced a lot of challenges in the 2017/2018 farming season, but emphasized that government is determined to correct the situation.
He says one of the solutions is to replace all the non performing extension workers with others that will perform their duties properly.
Mr. Kasolo says he expects all District Agriculture Coordinators to present reports of their findings after the performance review, fourteen days from the day he issued the instruction.
Police say that they have released all students from Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka who were arrested for riotous behaviour.
Police Spokesperson Esther Mwata Katongo says that the 333 students were released after paying Admission of guilty fine.
She however, says that three students, Emmanuel Kalangwa, who is student union President, Muuma Angel and Daliso Sichivula, the academic secretary have been charged for proposing violence.
The offence is contrary to section 91 of the penal code Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Ms. Katongo says that the trio was released on police bond.
The students on Thursday this week run amok pulling down wall fences separating the leaning institution from NIPA, National Institute of Public Administration and Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies.
The students rioted in protest over the alleged irregularities in the results of their TEVETA November-December 2017 examinations.