Environmental Impact Assessment report on proposed large scale mining in Petauke District rejected

An Environmental Impact Assessment EIA report by a Chinese company on the proposed large scale mining in Petauke District has been rejected.
Zambia Environmental Management Agency ZEMA Public Relations Officer, Ireen Phiri has confirmed to Breeze News.
Ms. Phiri says that ZEMA’s assessment and feedback from the hearing revealed that the EIA report did not have adequate information on key project activities.
Ms. Phiri says that Sinozoncha has since been requested to address the gaps and re-submit the EIA report to ZEMA.
Sinozoncha Resources Mining Company intends to set up a large scale mine in Sandwe Chiefdom of Petauke district.
A public hearing for the said project was held in September, 2015 in Sandwe area.

Energy Regulation Board raids six illegal fuel sites in Lusaka.

The Energy Regulation Board ERB has raided six illegal fuel sites in the light industrial area of Lusaka and recovered over 140 drums of fuel.
Three tankers were also impounded, while about 37 suspects were rounded up with undisclosed amounts of money.
In a statement to Breeze News, ERB Public Relations Manager, Kwali Mfuni says that the board worked with DEC, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Zambia Police in carrying out the operation.
Ms. Mfuni says that ERB carried out the operation following tips from members of the public and Oil Marketing Companies, following widespread illegal fuel vending activities and tanker drivers allegedly supplying fuel uplifted from the Lusaka fuel depot to illegal fuel vendors.
She says that the raids in Lusaka were conducted on Wednesday.
Ms. Mfune says that the joint exercise is schedule to be extended to other parts of the country to act against illegal fuel vending vices.
She says that fuel vending is a threat to public safety and deprives government of revenue.
Ms. Mfune has encouraged members of the public to report illegal fuel vending activities and sites to ERB, DEC of the Zambia Police.

TBZ to close extended tobacco marketing season

The extended tobacco marketing season in Eastern, Central and Southern Provinces is about to close.
Tobacco Board of Zambia TBZ Chief Executive Officer, Samson Muyembe has confirmed to Breeze News in an interview.
Mr. Muyembe says that TBZ has managed to mop up almost all the tobacco from independent growers, which was stuck due to lack of market.
He says that TBZ will be able to establish the total quantity of the tobacco bought from independent growers after close the exercise.
And Mr. Muyembe says that TBZ has not faced any challenges with farmers over buying prices as the exercise has gone smoothly.
TBZ had projected to buy 480,000 metric tonnes of the cash crop from independent growers in the region.

MMD not shaken by defections

Movement for Multiparty Democracy, MMD president, Nevers Mumba, says that his party has not been shaken by defections of some of its leaders to PF, the Patriotic Front Party.
Dr. Mumba says that the MMD in Eastern Province remains very strong, as all party structures are still intact despite the defections.
He explained that his party will not involve itself in what he described as cheap politics that the PF is trying to play.
Dr. Mumba explained that the party’s national deputy secretary is currently in the province working with the provincial leadership on party mobilization.
He says that a visit to six districts has so far revealed that all MMD members and leaders are still working hard for the party.
Dr. Mumba said that acting provincial chairperson; Jacob Mwanza handled the fake defections well.

Shortage of HIV testing kits has hit Lundazi district.

Shortage of testing kits for HIV has hit Lundazi district.
This came to light when men who accompanied their wives for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission PMTCT counselling session were turned back without undergoing HIV testing at Lundazi Urban Clinic.
Some of the men confirmed that they had been turned back without testing for HIV because of lack of testing kits.
And Lundazi District Community Medical Officer David Zulu confirmed the shortage.
Dr. Zulu indicated that the district has had no HIV testing kits for the past two weeks.
He however, explained that a new consignment of testing kits was already in the province in Chipata and that soon the district will receive the kits.

Shortage of HIV testing kits has hit Lundazi district.

Government has defended Sable Construction Company from accusations that it does not perform quality road works.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says that Sable Construction Company has improved tremendously in the way it is executing works.
Mr. Kasolo stated that the construction company has invested massively in procuring road construction equipment and specialised road engineers.
Responding to a question as to why government continues to award Sable Construction Company contracts despite not performing well, Mr. Kasolo indicated that the company was previously being let down by poor equipment.
Mr. Kasolo stated that the quality of works which Sable has done on the Mfuwe Airport – Cropping road in Mambwe district were of international standards.
He also indicated that Sable Construction Company was winning more contracts because they always turn out to be the cheapest when bidding for projects.
And Mr. Kasolo explained that it is better to award contracts to local contractors because money paid to these contactors stays within the country.

Ngonis and Chewas almost clash during World Toilet Day in Chadiza

Confusion erupted between Ngoni and Chewa Nyau dancers during the commemoration of the World Toilet Day at Alekeni Village in Chief Maguya’s area.
The confusion started when Chadiza District Commissioner, George Phiri, chiefs Maguya, Mlolo, Zingalume and Mwangala were asked to inspect the toilets in Alekeni village.
Breeze FM Correspondent Christopher Banda reports that the two dance groups argued on who was to take the stage to entertain the audience.
The Nyau dancers quickly rushed to the stage, a situation which angered the Ngonis who also took the stage and started commanding the Chewas to move away because Alekeni village is in Ngoni land.
It took police officers some time to calm the situation.
Eventually Nyau dancers moved away from the arena and continued with their dance a few metres away.
Both Chiefs Zingalume and Maguya could not be reached for a comment on the matter.
Alekeni village is in Chief Maguya’s area but administered under Chadiza.
This is not the first time that the two tribes in the two areas have differed as they have previously disagreed over land.
A similar incident happened during the opening of John Clinic in Chadiza area which is also under Chief Maguya.

Four government workers face dismissal for certifying shoddy works of government projects.

Four government workers are facing dismissal for certifying shoddy works of government projects.
Speaking during Budget Tracking programme on Breeze FM this morning Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says that the four misled him into approving payments for poorly done projects.
Mr Kasolo says that it is disappointing that his office has received documents to be signed for payments of projects were government is losing money.
The Permanent Secretary has warned that his office will take punitive measures against officers who agree to shoddy works and certify them for government’s payment.
Mr Kasolo further says that he will not sign any certificate for any work done in the province without inspecting the projects himself.
And Mr. Kasolo observed that local contractors are failing to properly execute projects because they only relay on government to fund the projects.
He noted that foreign companies are able to complete projects using their own money and get payment from government after the project has been completed.
Mr. Kasolo revealed that the project of constructing Lundazi District Hospital has stalled because local contractors who were given contracts to do phase two and three of the works do not have money.
He attributed delay by government to pay contractors to economic shocks, the funeral of late President Michael Sata and the Presidential election which he says gobbled colossal sums of money.
And Mr. Kasolo has condemned the system of awarding contracts from Lusaka stating that it becomes difficulty for his administration to monitor the projects.
And contributing on the programme, callers commended government through for the good road works going on in the province
They however, called on government to make timely payments to the contractors.

Eastern Province records over 130, 000 new registered voters

Eastern Province has so far recorded 133, 786 new registered voters since the commencement of the voter registration exercise.
This is out of the 1, 246, 626 newly registered voters country wide.
The latest updates availed to Breeze News this morning in a press statement by ECZ Public Relations Manager, Chris Akufuna, show that of the new registered voters in Eastern Province, 71, 328 are female, while 62, 458 are male.
When added to old voters, it means the province has a total of 272, 099 registered voters.
And Mr. Akufuna has reminded all persons living with disabilities to ensure that their disability is recorded by a registration officer even if they are already registered.
He also reiterated that no fee should be charged for issuance of voters cards and that the public should report any registration officer demanding any payment to police.
Mr. Akufuna reminded members of the public that registering more than once is an offence.