Heavy rains leave a trail of destruction in Chipangali Constituency

Heavy and windy rains on Friday left a trail of destruction in Kasenga area of Chief Mafuta in Chipata district.
Kasenga Ward councillor, Lenia Luhana, confirmed the incidents to Breeze News.
She says that at St. Margret’s Girls Secondary School, roofs to two teacher’s houses and an ablution block were blown off between 14 to 15 hours.
Ms. Luhana says that a similar incident happened at Kasenga Primary School, where a teacher’s house and a library, also had roofs blown off.
At the same school, she says a roof to a 1 by 3 classroom block is no longer safe for use, after it was also affected.
The councillor says that the roof to Mafuta Local Court was also blown off.
Ms. Luhana is now appealing to DMMU, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to quickly visit the area and assess the damage so that they can quickly help with renovations before schools reopen.

A man in Lundazi district sentenced to 3 years for assulting his wife

The Lundazi Magistrate Court has sentenced a 40 year old husband to 3 years six months imprisonment for causing multiple injuries on his wife contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Magistrate Milton Nyirenda sentenced Gilbert Kasanda Katontoka a businessman of Messengers Compound in Lundazi district after being found guilty on two counts.
Facts before court were that on 28th November, 2015 Gilbert Kasanda Katontoka caused actual bodily harm to his wife Mirriam Banda 38 after beating her using an iron bar and a plunk, thereby sustaining a swollen eye and fractured left knee.
In count two Katontoka was charged with malicious damage contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
On the same day around 20 hours Katontoka damaged a 55 inch plasma TV valued at 5,800 Kwacha property of Mirriam Banda without authority.
Katontoka admitted to all the two count charges but denied using an iron bar and a plunk when beating his wife stating that he used his hands to beat her.
And in mitigation Katontoka pleaded for maximum lenience stating that he would not repeat what he did adding that he still loved his wife.
But Magistrate Nyirenda stated that the offence committed was increasing in the district and that it was the duty of the court to protect both the victim and the accused.

Hillside Girls Secondary School owed over 250,000 Kwacha in unpaid school fees.

Over 250 thousand Kwacha in school fees is being owed to Hillside Girls Secondary School in Chipata.
This came to light yesterday during PTA, Parents Teachers Association meeting held at the school.
Hillside Girls PTA Chairperson, Chungu Chitambo attributed the increase in the owed school fees to the new technology system that pupils use to check their examination results from ECZ, the Examination Council of Zambia using the mobile phone.
Mr. Chitambo explained that most pupils do not go back to collect their results from the school when they discover that they have failed, leaving their fees unpaid.
Mr. Chitambo also says some organizations sponsoring vulnerable school going pupils do not honor their pledges to pay for the pupils while others delay to pay.
He however, says the school has managed to save 24 thousand Kwacha since April this year, which was previously going towards payment of water bills.
Mr. Chitambo says this is because the school which was accumulating about 3 thousand Kwacha per month in water bills has decided to drill a borehole for its water supply.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chitambo says cabinet has approved and paid 140 thousand Kwacha for the purchase of a 40 seater mini bus for the school as down payment from a total cost of 45 thousand United States dollars.
He says the vehicle is expected to be at the school by February next year.

Government to reassess the hunger situation in Mambwe district.

Government says it will send officers from DMMU, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to Mambwe to again asses the hunger situation.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo told Breeze News that it is sad to note that people in Mambwe are still complaining of hunger.
Mr. Kasolo was responding to complaints by Nsefu Ward Councilor, Steven Zulu, that private traders have taken advantage of the hunger situation in the area to hike maize prices.
The Permanent Secretary says the situation will be treated as an emergency, adding that government will not delay to distribute more relief maize to Nsefu Ward and other affected areas of Mambwe after an assessment has be conducted.
He explained that DMMU has a lot of maize in the reserves to give people in hunger stricken areas.
Meanwhile Mr. Kasolo says squatters in Nyakatokoli and Mphomwa forests of Mambwe and Chipata districts that were issued with eviction letters by the Forestry Department have not been removed from the areas.
Mr. Kasolo says government is still looking for land where to settle the squatters once they have been evicted.
He added that the squatters also need to be sensitized on the reasons why they have to move out of the forest reserve areas.

Motorists to display proof of insurance on window screens starting January 1st 2016.

All motorists will be expected to display proof of insurance on their vehicle windscreens starting January 1st 2016.
This is in compliance with Statutory Instrument No. 33 of the Road Traffic Display Regulations of 2015.
Insurers Association of Zambia IAZ Executive Director, Christabel Banda has confirmed to Breeze News in a press statement.
Ms Banda says that the SI is expected to assist in reducing the number of uninsured vehicles on the Zambian roads, which according to IAZ where in excess of 60 per cent.
And IAZ President Shipango Muteto says that the insurance industry is ready to ensure that the provisions for the SI are implemented smoothly.
Mr. Muteto says that there will be only two authorized insurance discs in circulation effective 1st January 2016, to ensure ease of enforcement by law enforcers.
He explains that all the 21 General Insurance companies will only be issuing one of the two discs.
The new provision will ensure that victims of accidents are guaranteed of financial compensation up to the prescribed limits, thereby saving them time and costs when pursing compensation from an individual, which may or may not yield any positive results.

Heavy rains send panic among some farmers in Chipata

Farmers in Ngongwe area in Chipata are in a state of panic, following heavy rains yesterday.
Zone Five Chairperson in Ngongwe Camp Agricultural Committee, CAC, John Lungu, says that farmers are in a dilemma, because they have no farming inputs especially seed.
Mr. Lungu, says that farmers are worried that delays in planting seed may affect the yields.
He says that farmers are unable to buy inputs on their own because most of them have not yet received their money after selling maize to FRA, the Food Reserve Agency.
Last week, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo, explained that the delay in the distribution of inputs was caused by the absence of seed.
He however explained that the province has now received the seed and is hopeful that all farmers would have received their inputs by the end of November.

Chiefs in Katete threaten to repossess idle land given to district council

Chiefs in Katete district have lamentably complained of the continued failure by Katete District Council to utilise the land offered to them by traditional leaders.

Speaking on behalf of other Chiefs, during a stakeholder’s consultative meeting on land policy, Chief Mbango’mbe said chiefs in the district have resolved not to offer any more land to the local authority until they fully utilise the land they were given years back.

The Chief said Katete District has enough land for development but is disappointed with the manner the district council has been handling the matter.

He cited portions of land given to government as land marked for a district hospital, LDF Land Development Fund plots, university of mathematics, and bus station among others.

He added that chiefs will soon begin repossessing any land that was offered to government but has remained idle for many years.

The Chiefs later submitted that they will in future consider giving their land on lease and not title as this will enable them check on how development is unfolding in their respective chiefdom.

Meanwhile Katete District Council Community Development Officer who represented the District Planning Officer Mabvuto Phiri said the local council was not the planning authority but was responsible for recommending land development approval to the Eastern Province Planning Authority.

Mr. Phiri said the delay in development on some portions of land like the LDF plots was as a result of the Ministry of Lands failure to produce all the 268 offer letters as the council only received 120.

He however accepted that the plots given under the LDF was un-serviced as the local council could only manage to put up a few roads.

Lundazi council threatens to repossess Lundazi Hotel land

The local authority in Lundazi district is in the
process of repossessing a three hectare land belonging to Lundazi Hotel whose managing director is Dr George Chabwela.

ZANIS reports that Lundazi District Council Planner Davison Kamuli says the council wrote to the owner informing him that they will start the process of repossessing the land as he was not developing it and he wrote back that the building at the said land was at roof level.

Mr Kamuli says that it was the duty of the council to recommend for the repossession of land to the Ministry of Lands if the owner is not developing it.

He says that the council will not sit idle and see people who got land sometime back failing to develop it.
And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that government will not interfere with the legal aspect of repossession by the council.

Mr Kasolo says that it was clear in the law that once a person acquires land he/she has eighteen months to develop it failure to which land can be repossessed.

He said the council should engage Dr Chabwela to ensure that the land is repossessed legally and not with selfish motives.

Glaring anomalies in teacher recruitment angers unsuccessful candidates in Chipata.

Some teachers from Jubeva College of Education, who were left out in the just ended teacher recruitment exercise have presented a petition to provincial administration, citing a lot of anomalies on the list that was published recently.
The teachers observed that out of over 300 teachers, who graduated from the college in two different intakes, less than 30 were picked.
The teachers said that on the list of names of teachers which was published, there are names of teachers, who were employed, when their year of training completion indicates 2015.
They wondered where the employed teachers got the results, because at the time of submitting application in August, it meant they had not even written their final examinations in their various colleges.
The teachers said that the Ministry of Education should have employed those, who hold primary teaching certificates because their chances of being recruited are getting slimmer.
They said that this is because government has a policy where lowest qualification for teachers should be a diploma.
They requested that in case of any replacement, they should be given priority.
A check by Breeze News on the list of the successful teachers found that 23 names were indicating as having completed training in 2015 while 18 had no record on when they completed training.
Meanwhile Youth Forum has called for investigations into how the teacher recruitment exercise was conducted.

Provincial Youth Forum Chairperson Mathews Phiri has told Breeze News that Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo and ACC, the Anti-Corruption Commission should fully establish how some candidates, who were not eligible got the jobs.
Mr. Phiri charged that anomalies in the recruitment exercise are a clear indication that the jobs were not offered on merit.
He says that there is no way a person who has just finished a certificate course in 2015 could be found on the list of those selected to take up jobs as teachers, leaving long standing certificate holders.
Mr. Phiri says it is saddening to note that only 42 candidates were selected in Chipata district and a bigger number from other provinces.

Katete District Council advised to ask government for more funds for land development

Ministry of Lands Chief Planner John Phiri has asked Katete District Council to ask government for more funds and service land apportioned for development.

Speaking during a stakeholder’s consultative meeting on land policy yesterday, Mr. Phiri said government is clear on land and has directed all councils to only offer land for development once the plots are fully serviced.

Mr. Phiri wondered why it has taken Katete District Council a long time to complete servicing the plots under the Land Development Fund LDF in the district.

He advised that the council should invite the Ministry of Lands to go and evaluate how much work has been done on plot servicing and further ask for funds to complete the project.