Eastern recording high cases of dysentery

Eastern Province has been recording an average of two hundred suspected dysentery cases every week this year.

This came to light during the Provincial Epidemics Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management meeting in Chipata yesterday.

Provincial Surveillance Officer, Jordan Banda says that Chipata so far has recorded the highest number of suspected dysentery cases with five hundred and twenty nine cases.

He says that compared to the same period last year, there has been a big reduction in the number of suspected dysentery cases being recorded.

Mr. Banda explained that last year, the province used to record about 400 suspected cases per week.

Mr. Banda says that the measures the districts have put in place to eradicate cholera have also helped in reducing the number of suspected dysentery cases in the province.

He says even though the province has had a number of suspected dysentery cases, only a few of those have been tested for confirmation.

And speaking during the same meeting, Lundazi District Health Officer, Davy Zulu, says the ministry faces challenges in confirming dysentery cases because fecal samples for suspected cases must be tested within a day.

He says testing the fecal matter within a day is not possible, as most suspected dysentery cases come from far areas and the samples usually reach the hospitals labs after the viability of the sample has expired.

Dr. Zulu says there is need for more labs to be constructed in hospitals to ensure that samples reach hospitals in good time.

UPND confident of winning April 24 by-elections

The United Party for National Development UPND in Eastern Province says it is optimistic that the party will win the local government by-elections in Sinda and Nyimba districts.

Electoral Commission of Zambia, ECZ, has set April 24th, 2018 as the date for Local Government By-Elections in areas where vacancies have arisen in various districts of the country.

In Eastern Province, by-elections will be held in Chiweza ward in Nyimba district and Chiwuyu ward in Sinda district.

UPND Provincial Spokesperson Victor Mbuzi says his party is optimistic that the party will scoop the two seats that were in the hands of the ruling party.

Mr. Mbuzi says the opposition political party is ready and that candidates who are contesting the two seats have been picked.

He further says that countrywide, the party will scoop all the fifteen local government by-elections.

Mr. Mbuzi adds that the ruling party should not expect people to vote like they voted in the last general elections, because electorates have lost faith in the ruling party.

Four major roads to be rehabilitated

Government through the Ministry of Local Government will soon release funds for the rehabilitation of about 160 kilometer feeder roads in Chipata district.

Chipata City Mayor Sinoya Mwale says four roads have been earmarked for rehabilitation in Luangeni and Kasenengwa constituencies.

Mr. Mwale has named the roads earmarked for rehabilitation as Madzimoyo- Kagunda road, covering 64.1 kilometers and Mwami border-Mlanga school via Mwami Mission hospital covering 34 kilometers.

He says others are Mchelile- Kamlaza road covering 43 kilometers and Mducha- Mgochi road covering 27 kilometers.

Mr. Mwale says the contractors were on sites this week for feasibility studies.

He says once documentation is completed, government will release money and that road works will commence.

He has further called on councilors and the community in the respective areas to work in partnership with the contractors.

Eastern records 15 maternal deaths within two months

Eastern Province has so far recorded fifteen maternal deaths since the beginning of this year.

This came to light during the Provincial Epidemics Preparedness, Prevention, Control and Management meeting in Chipata yesterday.

Provincial Surveillance Officer Jordan Banda says that the fifteen maternal deaths were recorded in Chipata, Petauke and Katete with each of the districts recording five deaths.

He says while the rest of the districts have recorded no maternal deaths, the fifteen from the three districts is high and serious measures need to be put in place in order to correct the situation.

And speaking during the same event, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that it is important that going forward, any clinic or health post constructed should have a maternity annex to reduce the deaths.

And commenting to the remarks by the Permanent Secretary, Acting Provincial Health Director Charles Fanaka says that the Ministry is aware that that the infrastructure they have is not adequate.

He says that it is for this reason that the Ministry of Health with the support of NGOs is in the process of constructing mother shelters, were expectant mothers can go to wait from, until labour commences.

Dr. Fanaka says that this will help in ensuring that all pregnant women receive the help they need in giving birth as soon as possible.

2018 Nc’wala described as a success

Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people in Chipata District says this year’s Ncwala traditional ceremony was more successful than those held in previous years.

Speaking in an interview with Breeze News, Chief Madzimawe says this year’s Ncwala Traditional ceremony was better organized compared to past ceremonies.

He says misconduct by some unruly people, who attend the ceremony were avoided.

Chief Madzimawe also expressed happiness that no road accidents were recorded during the period of the N’cwala ceremony.

He adds that the absence of the president did not impact the ceremony in any negative way.

Gogo Madzimawe says the ceremony is important because it brings people from different political affiliations together.

Army worms attack 5,000 hectors of crop fields in Lundazi

Over 500 hectors in different parts of Lundazi district have been affected by army worms.

This has affected about 6,300 farmers from the time the army worms broke out last year.

Lundazi district agriculture coordinating officer, Philemon Lungu, confirmed this to Breeze News this morning.

Mr. Lungu says it has not been easy for his office to control the pest from spreading to more areas due to the unavailability of funds for government to purchase chemicals.

He says the district has so far received 300 liters of chemicals to distribute to farmers whose fields have affected.

Mr. Lungu explained that due to insufficient chemicals, only farmers, who are not under the Farmers Input Support Program, FISP, will be given the chemicals for free.

He added that those under FISP program can redeem the chemical using the E-voucher cards.

Mr. Lungu further urged farmers across the district to be on the lookout for army worms and report any suspicions so that measures can be put in place to control any further spread.

UPND MP Keith Mukata sentenced to hang for murder

United Party for National Development UPND Member of Parliament Keith Mukata has been sentenced to death by hanging by the Lusaka High Court for Murder.

 

Mukata’s girlfriend and co-accused Charmanine Musonda has been set free due to lack of evidence.

 

This is a matter where the duo are alleged to have murdered a security guard Namakambwa Kalilakwenda 63, last year, an employee from Men in Black Security Company operating from AKM Legal Practitioners owned by Mukata.

HH accuses government of destroying agriculture sector

The United Party for National Development UPND says the Patriotic Front PF Party has destroyed the agriculture sector with its alleged corrupt ways of leadership.

UPND President Hakainde Hichilema says that the Patriotic Front government has completely ignored the plight of the people by destroying the agriculture sector in the country.

Mr. Hichilema says vulnerable farmers are being exploited through the introduction of systems that are not benefiting the farmers, citing the E-voucher system as a major cause of the delayed distribution of farm inputs.

He also noted that farmers are not benefiting from any of these systems, adding that the reduction in the market floor price for the 2016 -2017 farming season was a mockery to the farmers.

He says UPND has a strong policy framework and will strive hard to reinstate the Agriculture sector in the country, by replacing the E-voucher system with efficient systems that will ensure viability of farmers in the country.

Mr. Hichilema was speaking during a card renewal exercise held at Mpezeni Park Square in Chipata yesterday.

PS Kasolo apologises to farmers over challenges in e-voucher

Government says that it is aware of some of the challenges the Electronic voucher system has faced this year, and promises that the system will be improved.

Speaking during a press briefing held in Chipata district yesterday, Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says that it is a pity that some politicians are trying to use the challenges government has faced in implementing the E-voucher to accuse government of having failed Zambians.

He says that it is true that the E-voucher system has had some challenges because while most farmers have received their farming inputs, some farmers have not yet received their inputs.

Mr. Kasolo says that this is because the E-voucher system is a new program, which has not yet been perfected by government.

He says that those that are objective will admit that the system has closed a lot of loopholes that existed in the old system.

Mr. Kasolo says farmers now have more control over where and how they want to get their inputs without unscrupulous people taking advantage of them.

The Permanent secretary apologized on behalf of government to the affected farmers over the hiccups faced in the E-voucher system this season.

He promised farmers that the system will be better next year stating that farming inputs will be distributed on time.

Street vending in Mfuwe a danger to tourism

Alleged street vending in the Cropping area of Mambwe district is reported to be posing a health hazard to tourism activities in the area.

Movement for Multi-Party Democracy MMD Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary Zephaniah Kaleya says that it is unfortunate that numbers of street vendors trading next to the national park is slowly increasing.

Mr. Kaleya told Breeze News that the area where vendors have gone back to trade from, has no water, toilets and electricity, a situation he says is hazardous and vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

He says with the help of the recently signed statutory instrument on street vending, there is urgent need for the local authority to intervene before business in the tourism sector is disturbed.

Mr. Kaleya expressed concern that if the situation is left to reach the extent of a disease outbreak, it may lead to closure of most lodges near Cropping area, which might as well lead to most people becoming jobless.