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.