Trouble ensued between PF, Patriotic Front Party cadres and MMD, Movement for Multi-Party Democracy cadres in the Musumbazi local government by-election in Petauke district.
Confusion started after, MMD cadres were allegedly found distributing campaign materials less than 100 meters from Milanzi polling station while voting was taking place.
And PF vice Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary, Masuzyo Mwenda has confirmed the violence.
He says that one of the PF cadres identified as Xavia Banda has been assaulted after he attempted to grab the Vitenge materials from MMD cadres.
Mr. Mwenda says that the PF cadres managed to grab nine vitenge materials which were given to police officers at Milanzi polling station.
Petauke District Officer-in-charge, Emmanuel Bwalya refused to comment on the incident.
Political parties taking part in the Musumbazi local government election are MMD, PF, UPND and UNIP.
Government has launched the 6.2 billion kwacha emergency water project in Nyimba district.
Eastern Water and Sewerage Company public relations officer, Henry Kashoki, says that the project which was launched on Tuesday by Local Government and Housing deputy minister, Folly Tembo, is expected to be completed in four months’ time.
Mr. Kashoki says that the project is aimed at improving water supply for Nyimba following the drying up of Chikuyu Dam.
He explained that so far, 3 boreholes out of the total 4, have already been drilled by the contractor, China Gausul.
Mr. Kashoki said that the boreholes are being sunk about 7 kilometers away from Nyimba boma.
He said that the works will also involve the construction of the major water pipe, putting up of a road leading to the area where the boreholes are being sunk as well as construction of a power line.
Mr. Kashoki expressed confidence that once the project is completed, the water problem that has been hitting Nyimba district will reduce.
The Citizens Forum says that child participation in national issues will not be achieved unless traditional leaders are fully involved.
Citizen Forum executive secretary, Simon Kabanda says that this is because chiefs and headmen are the custodians of traditions in the country.
He said this when he briefed Eastern Province permanent secretary, Hlobota Nkunika on the project that the forum is running in Chadiza, dubbed Child Participation project.
The project seeks to promote child participation in various issues of national importance.
And Mr. Nkunika said that child participation in national issues is very important and must be promoted.
Mr. Nkunika expressed happiness that Citizen Forum had chosen Chadiza district where to implement its project, saying he was hopeful that the project would assist to reduce the number of school drop outs in the district.
Angry workers at Lundazi District Council have been told to exercise patience over unpaid salaries.
Council Secretary, Magubbwi Simukolomba says that the local authority is looking into the plight of the workers who have not been paid for about three months.
Mr. Simukolomba’s call comes amid reports that some disgruntled workers were trying to cause confusion after getting information that senior council workers had been paid from the grant provided by government.
The council secretary, who has just been transferred to Lundazi, explained that the council is not making money because its income generating activities are running at a loss.
Lundazi District Commissioner, Janet Mvula is in trouble for awarding a member of an opposition political party during Independence Day.
Doubt Mbewe who is district vice chairperson for MMD, Movement for Multi-Party Democracy was given an award of the cleanest man in Lundazi.
Breeze Correspondent, Mtambwa Nkhoma reports that this has created tension between the district commissioner and PF, Patriotic Front Party cadres who attempted to close her office.
And District Commissioner, Janet Mvula says that only God will preside over the matter and that she does not have much to say.
But Provincial PF Chairperson, Lucas Phiri has condemned the action taken by the cadres stating that locking the district commissioner’s office does not help to address the problem.
Mr. Phiri says that the cadres should have forwarded their grievances to the PF Provincial leadership and the provincial minister, Charles Banda who is also PF National Mobilization chairperson.
The PF Provincial boss, however ruled out any disciplinary action against the cadres stating that their action was out of ignorance and that they need to be sensitized on party procedures of airing grievances.
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.