Unqualified general workers like watchmen and cleaners are reported to be screening pregnant women at some health centers in Mambwe district.
This is according to a budget tracking report produced by CSPR, Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, which was presented to stakeholders in Chipata on Wednesday.
The report, which is from the budget tracking exercise conducted in Chipata and Mambwe districts, also revealed that there is shortage of drugs in health facilities and inadequate funding to government departments which is affecting operations.
The report also indicates poor access to safe drinking water in the two districts, lack of maintenance of feeder roads in Chipata district and difficulties in accessing education by pupils in rural communities due to long distances to schools.
CSPR Provincial Coordinator, Maxwell Nkhoma says that the budget tracking programme focused on five sectors, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation and infrastructure development and social protection.
Mr. Nkhoma indicated the issues revealed in the report needed to be addressed to reduce poverty levels and enhance service delivery.
Some health centers in senior Chief Nzamane’s area in Chipata have been accused of charging pregnant women when they go to deliver.
This is despite government banning the medical user fees at all health centres in the country.
This came to light when CSPR, the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction held a meeting with the community at Enock village on the findings of the budget tracking they did in various areas of the province.
The women complained that they are being asked to pay 120,000 Kwacha by the nurses.
They also complained of the bad language used by the medical staff and failure to provide them with mosquito nets when admitted.
And Chipata Mayor, Goodson Thole, who was present at the meeting, demanded that the ministry should discipline the medical staff.
And District Medical Officer, Dr. Davies Simwaba says that he has not received any complaint on the matter.
He however, said that all health services in Zambia are free of charge adding that he will follow up the issues raised by the women.
Petauke Youth Forum leaders have been told to stop being childish.
This follows the decision by the Youth Forum leaders to hold a picnic as a way of commemorating this year’s World Aids Day, which falls on December 1st.
Petauke District AIDS Task Force DATF, Coordinator, Martin Chishimba says that the decision by the Youth Forum leaders to hold a picnic shows that they cannot make mature plans.
Mr. Chishimba told Breeze FM Correspondent, Mercy Maseko that picnics can cause the young people to engage in illicit activities.
He says that the youths should make other plans for commemorating the World Aids Day.
But Petauke Youth Form Vice President, George Lukwanda has defended their decision stating that picnics help youths to have good morals by interacting on sex issues.
Some cooperatives that become active at the time of FISP, the Farmer Input Support Programme in Eastern Province risk being deregistered.
Provincial Agriculture Coordinator, Obvious Kabinda says that the Ministry of Agriculture has audited all the cooperatives in the province and have found out that some cooperatives only become active during the time of FISP.
Dr. Kabinda says that the ministry has recommended that such co-operatives be deregistered by the register of cooperatives.
He also says that the mandate of the cooperatives department is to see to it that all cooperatives hold their annual general meetings failure to which they do not qualify to benefit.
He says that some cooperatives have not changed leaders from the time they were formed, which is also wrong.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kabinda has warned beneficiaries of FISP who intend to sell their inputs that they will be blacklisted from receiving inputs.
And Dr. Kabinda says that Eastern Province has received 243,641 by 50 kilograms bags of basal and top dressing fertilize under FISP to be distributed to farmers.
He added that the province has also received 1, 347 thousand fertilizer for sorghum, over eleven thousand by 50kilogram bags of fertilize for cotton and over one thousand bags of fertilizer for groundnuts.
Some unscrupulous people in Petauke district are cutting down trees indiscriminately, threatening bee farming.
Petauke District Forestry Officer, Charles Muchotsa who has confirmed this has described the trend as disheartening.
Breeze FM Correspondent, Mercy Maseko reports that Mr. Muchosta has advised all bee farmers to start planting trees so that they can attract bees.
And Mr. Muchotsa has also advised bee farmers to increase the number of bee hives to increase their production and make more money.
Meanwhile the Japanese International Cooperation Agency JICA Agriculture office in Petauke has embarked on a programme to assist find market for farmers who grow cassava.
The JICA District Agricultural officer, Ruchiki Kastuki says that of late, farmers in Petauke have struggled to sell their produce because local businessmen buy it at low prices.
The Patriotic Front Party, PF has accused MMD, the Movement for Multi- Party Democracy of fuelling confusion in the Musumbazi local government by-election.
PF vice Publicity Secretary, Masuzyo Mwenda says MMD cadres yesterday attempted to start confusion in the ward after the two parties held political rallies.
Mr. Mwenda says that MMD cadres attempted to provoke PF cadres by passing close to the PF camp while chanting their slogans.
He says that this is despite the PF having held a rally at Minga Primary School while the MMD held their rally at Minga Bus Stop.
Mr. Mwenda advised the MMD to desist from engaging in activities that can easily spark confusion.
And MMD Provincial Information Publicity Secretary, Samuel Lugomo Phiri could not be reached for comment.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ has set November 8 as date for the Musumbazi local government election.
Works of constructing Namwela Bridge in Tafelansoni Ward in Chadiza district will be completed in December this year.
Site Engineer for Libian Contractors, Mutor Shumba who is carrying out the works told Breeze FM Correspondent, Paul Phiri that works will continue during the rainy season because the bridge needs to be completed by December.
Namwela Bridge, which connects many villages to Chadiza central, is a multi-purpose bridge especially to farmers who transport their goods to the market.
And ward councillor, Morris Zulu has expressed happiness with the development.
Mr. Zulu says that people in the ward depend on farming and have been facing difficulties to transport their produce to the market due to the damaged bridge
The bridge was washed away during the rainy season in 2010.
Kasenengwa Member of Parliament, Victoria Kalima says confusions that have rocked the ruling PF, Patriotic Front, should not affect payment of farmers.
Ms. Kalima says that the PF government is busy solving internal misunderstandings instead of concentrating on paying farmers their money and fostering development.
She explained that farmers have lost a lot of money on transport in following their payments at FRA, the Food Reserve Agency.
Ms. Kalima said that some farmers have failed to send their children to school due to lack of money.
She said that for farmers to go to the extent of demonstrating, it’s a sign that things are really serious among the people.
Ms. Kalima also explained that any further delays in paying farmers, will affect crop yields next year.
Foundation for Democratic Process FODEP has charged that politicians are frustrating the constitution making process because of selfish motives.
FODEP Executive Director, Macdonald Chipenzi also says that some people have turned constitution making processes into money making ventures.
Speaking during a live radio programme on Breeze FM last evening, Mr. Chipenzi said that he could not understand why some politicians are against the fifty plus one vote clause for presidential candidate and the running mate clause.
He said that statements that the running mate clause will bring confusion in Zambia, are misleading, because the system has worked well in many other countries including Ghana.
Mr. Chipenzi noted that politicians who are uncomfortable with some of the clauses in the draft constitution should be aware that the constitution is not targeted at any individuals but to meet the needs of Zambians.
And Mr. Chipenzi has observed that some people have built houses and bought expensive cars from allowances which they received from failed constitution making processes in the past.
He says that it is the wish of these selfish people to see the draft constitution fail, so that they can continue making money through receiving allowances.
Construction works for the 14 billion Kwacha district hospital in Lundazi district are progressing well.
District Medical Director, Allan Chisenga says that the construction works have already seen the Theatre, Maternity Wing, X-Ray and Kitchen being completed under phase one.
Breeze FM Correspondent, Mtambwa Nkhoma reports from Lundazi that Dr. Chisenga says that 4.6 billion Kwacha has so far been used under phase one of the three phase project.
He says that the district is now waiting for funds to start works for phase two, that will involve construction of administrative block, male and female wards.
And the district medical director says that the purpose for putting up another hospital in Lundazi, is to meet the demand because the current hospital was built for a small population.
The new hospital is located about 4 kilometres away from the boma on the Lundazi-Chipata road in Chief Mphamba’s area.