Four people in Chipata charged with trafficking in l09 grammes of cannbis

The Drug Enforcement Commission in Eastern Province, has arrested and jointly charged three 18-year-old boys and one 17-year-old boy, all of Magazine Compound in Chipata District for trafficking in loose cannabis weighing 109.9g.
This is according to a Press Statement availed to Breeze News by DEC Public Relations Officer, Theresa Katongo.

Ms. Katongo says the Commission would like to caution young people to desist from engaging themselves in drug abuse and trafficking activities whose consequences are dire.

She added that the Commission has arrested 12 Juveniles countrywide for trafficking in various quantities of cannabis.
Ms. Katongo says DEC arrested and jointly charged in Luapula Province is a 15-year-old boy of Chitamba village in Mansa District and Charity Chipundu, 42, of the same abode for trafficking in loose cannabis weighing 2.613kg.
Others arrested and jointly charged are three pupils of NKC Mckenzie in Ndola on the Copperbelt for trafficking in 521g of loose cannabis. Two of the boys are aged 17 and one is 14 years old.
And in Lusaka has arrested a 32-year-old man of Mutendere Compound for being in possession of 9,900 United States Dollar counterfeit notes.
Ms. Katongo says Maybin Zulu, 32, of Mutendere East in Lusaka has been arrested for being in possession of Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred United States Dollars counterfeit notes contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
She says the suspect was arrested in Kabulonga residential area as he was about to transact.
All suspects will appear in court soon.

People from various sectors in Chipata welcome the amended constitution.

The signing of the constitutional bill into law by President Edgar Lungu has brought joy among some stakeholders.
Former Provincial chairperson for the Grand Coalition on the People Driven Constitution, Maxson Nkhoma, says that Zambians must appreciate that the country now has an amended constitution, although it has not been enacted through a referendum as many people wanted.
He says that the bill that was signed into law yesterday, contain some of the major progressive clauses that Zambians wanted to be included in the constitution.
Mr. Nkhoma says that those, who did not support the amendment of the constitution through parliament must come to terms with the fact that being a stakeholder, does not mean all their wishes should have been followed, as there were others with different wishes and ideas.
However, Mr. Nkhoma has expressed surprise with the fear of some councilors that they may not stand in this year’s general elections, due to the new constitutional requirement that anyone standing as a councilor must have a Grade Twelve certificate.
Mr. Nkhoma says that councilors like many other Zambian citizens, were part of the stakeholders, who fully participated in coming up with the desired laws.
He says that councilors were therefore fully aware of the inclusion of this requirement since 2011 when the consultative process started and should have prepared themselves by sitting for grade twelve examinations.
Mr. Nkhoma says implementation of the amended constitution must start immediately and that such complaints should not be entertained.

Eastern Water confirms facing challenges to pay salaries in 2015.

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company has confirmed facing some challenges in paying salaries to workers.
And the water company has changed the system of paying back loans for employees obtained from banks.
Speaking to Breeze News, Spokesperson Henry Kashoki says that it is true that the company last year faced challenges to pay salaries but the situation has normalized.
Mr. Kashoki attributed the challenges in paying salaries to problems that the company has faced to collect enough revenue from its operations.
He called for hard work from workers, stating that this is the only that the company will make enough revenue to pay salaries on time.
And Mr. Kashoki says that the company has cancelled memorandum of understandings with banks, where Eastern Water was paying back loans on behalf of the workers after deducting from their salaries.
Yesterday the workers demanded for removal of their managing director, Lyton Kanowa because of among other things delayed salaries and failure to submit loan deductions to the banks.
Meanwhile Mr. Kashoki has dismissed reports that Mr. Kanowa has been sent on forced leave because of the same matter, stating that he has gone on annual leave.
He says that the company board will look into the grievances of the workers.

Sixty-one million Kwacha allocated to Eastern Province under 2016 National Budget.

Eastern Province has been allocated 61 million Kwacha under the 2016 National Budget.
Provincial Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo has confirmed during a live radio programme dubbed “Budget Tracking” on Breeze FM this morning.
Mr. Kasolo however, says that the province would have wanted an allocation of 82 million Kwacha but the budget ceiling for 2016 was reduced.
And Mr. Kasolo has expressed disappointment with local contractors in Eastern Province whom he accused of failing to perform.
He charged that the contractor working on township roads in Katete district was totally incompetent while the contractor working on Chipata district Hospital was a big disappointment.
Mr. Kasolo further revealed that no contractor will be paid for works done until the project has been inspected by him, Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Patrick Mwanawasa or the provincial minister.
He says that such measures have been taken due to incompetence and corruption where government officers are certifying shoddy works, making government lose money.
Meanwhile Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo has described 2015 as a very challenging year.
Speaking on Breeze FM’s Budget Tracking Programme, Mr. Kasolo says that the year was challenging in that resources were not forth coming as expected.
Mr. Kasolo explained that this has been frustrating to the provincial administration because it has been unable to fulfil goals for 2015.
He however, indicated that this was due to a larger economic challenge, which the country faced due to declining copper prices which reduced payment of taxes to government and other outside economic shocks.
Mr. Kasolo indicated that despite this challenge, the provincial administration performed well adding that the Ministry of Finance cannot blamed for inconsistent release of funds.
And Mr. Kasolo says that rehabilitation of the Great East Road, construction of hospitals and improvement in water reticulation were some of the major projects, which government successfully implemented in 2015.
He however, expressed disappointment with the business sector for exploiting consumers with high commodity prices.
Mr. Kasolo indicated that despite government intervening in the matter, there has been a minimal reduction in prices of commodities.

Lundazi District Council allows people whose houses were demolished last year to rebuild.

People whose houses were demolished in Lundazi district last year have been given a go ahead to reconstruct their structures.
Lundazi District Council Secretary, Boyd Kaoma told Breeze News that the local authority held meetings with the Ministry of Lands to decide on the way forward for the affected people.
He says it was decided during the meetings that the people whose houses were demolished should continue staying in the buffer zone of Lundazi stream.
Mr. Kaoma says the issue of Former Lundazi DEBS, District Education Board Secretary Hebert Mwiinga, whose house was also demolished, has been referred to the council.
He says the council is still discussing the matter with the planning authority, adding that Mr. Mwiinga will also have to reconstruct his house.
Last year, about five families were left in the cold when their houses were demolished by the Provincial Planning Authority after it was discovered that the houses were posing danger to the life span of the Lundazi stream.

Two UPND officials arrested over violence in Vubwi district

Police in Chipata have arrested UPND Provincial Chairperson, Paul Benjamin Thole, 63 and Victor Mbuzi, 46, who is UPND Deputy Publicity Secretary.
This is in connection with the attacks on a businessman identified as Jay Banda and two journalists of Chipata that happened in Vubwi district last week.
Eastern Province Deputy Police Commissioner, Patrick Billy confirmed the arrest to Breeze News.
Mr. Billy says the two were arrested in Chipata yesterday.
He says Thole and Mbuzi have been charged with occasioning actual bodily harm and will appear in court soon.
Mr. Billy added that police will arrest any person who was involved in the attack.
Mr. Billy says Thole and Mbuzi will be charged jointly with other person’s unknown.
On Thursday last week, Petauke based businessman, Jay Banda, Post Newspaper Correspondent, Peter Sukwa and Feel Free radio journalist, Kelvin Phiri were attacked by political cadres in Vubwi district.

Government reveals high abuse of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Eastern Province.

Government has expressed worry with the continued reports of fraud activities that have characterized the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Eastern Province.
Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare, Obby Chisala says that his office has received a number of reports that most beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme are not genuine.
He was speaking in Chipata this morning, when he paid a courtesy call on Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo.
Mr. Chisala says reports have also reached his office that some beneficiaries are being removed from the system while some women clubs are not using the money for the intended purpose.

He says that it is for this reason that he has come to the province to verify the reports and put an end to the activities.
The Minister also says plans are underway to expand the number of districts with beneficiaries for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme from the current 50 to 78 next year.
And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says his office will ensure that the misuse of funds meant for vulnerable people is brought to an end.
Mr. Kasolo says it is sad to note that people are taking governments programmes for granted by getting involved in various dubious activities, which should not be tolerated.

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.