The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops has appealed to the conscience of all members of parliament across political parties to respect the will of the majority Zambians and immediately withdraw bill 10 from parliament. ZCCB president Bishop George Lungu says any legislative process of making, reviewing and amending the supreme law of the land ought to be premised on a process that is widely inclusive, transparent accountable and anchored on consensus building rather than partisan interests. In a statement made available to the media, Bishop Lungu says ZCCB acknowledges the desire by Zambians to address the lacunas that are in the 2016 amended constitution. He says ZCCB also acknowledges the realization of many Zambians that bill 10 in its current form does not reflect the constitutional desires of the majority Zambians. And Bishop Lungu says ZCCB is aware and concerned about the dwindling levels of vigilance among Zambians as they continue watching and saying nothing on the increasing incidents of human rights abuse, political violence, high levels of corruption, poor adherence towards the rule of law, and now the manipulation of masses over bill 10 exhibited by those who have taken it upon themselves to popularize it. He adds that having undertaken a comparative analysis of bill 10, the parliamentary report on the bill as well as the current amended constitution of 2016, ZCCB has noted that while bill 10 may contain some progressive clauses, it also contains some retrogressive and highly contentious clauses. The bishop has cited the proposed changes in the electoral system regarding mayors and council chairpersons among others.
The Eastern Province Labour Office says the situation on the impact of COVID-19 in the labour market is changing in the province. This follows the announcement by President Edgar Lungu that the hospitality industry should operate normally for domestic tourists while adhering to COVID-19 measures. And in Livingstone of Southern Province, by yesterday, Victoria Falls had recorded about 7,000 local people who went to see the Victoria Falls. Provincial Labour Officer Francis Shabani says in Eastern Province, some lodge facilities such as those in Chipata are slowly opening up because people are now using their facilities such as hosting conferences. Mr. Shabani says that for almost three months, the lodge facilities haven’t been operating, a situation that affected their income and that some of their employees have been laid off. He however, says employers should follow the due process of the law when reducing workers or sending them on forced leave.
The 2019/2020 Crop Forecast Production shows that only three districts in Eastern Province have produced Burley tobacco. Chipata district is on top with a total of 1,522 metric tonnes of Burley tobacco. Lundazi district is ranked second with a production of 944 metric tonnes while Mambwe is on the third position with a total of 34 metric tonnes of Burley tobacco. On Virginia tobacco, Lundazi district is on top with a total of 862 metric tonnes, followed by Chadiza on the second position with a total of 789 metric tonnes. Chipata district is on the third position producing a total of 765 metric tonnes while the least district is Katete with a total of 74 metric tonnes of Virginia tobacco. This is according to the Eastern Province 2019/2020 Season Crop Forecast Production figures seen by Breeze FM News.
A Civic leader in Chasefu district has expressed concern towards reports that DMMU, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit were distributing mealie-meal to businessmen at the expense of vulnerable people in need of relief food in the area.
Speaking to Breeze FM News in a telephone interview, Kajilime ward Councilor David Mthika says he was disturbed with reports that DMMU was giving relief mealie-meal to business owners at Emusa sub center, while the vulnerable people who were registered as beneficiaries of the relief package have not been given.
He says if at all, reports of the empowerment program by DMMU are true, there is need for DMMU to consider equal distribution of the relief mealie meal to all businessmen and not selective distribution.
Mr. Mthika added that he personally visited the trading area and discovered that the relief mealie meal was been sold and the traders confirmed having received the commodity from DMMU.
Meanwhile DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe says his office is not aware of what is happening in Chasefu and therefore, whatever is happening is pure theft of public property.
He says DMMU has not empowered any business owners in Chasefu district, adding that anyone selling food that is being distributed under relief food, risk being prosecuted.
Mr. Kabwe says he is positive that the law enforcers in the province will follow up the matter and ensure everyone involved is dealt with accordingly.
Some residents in Kajilime ward of Chasefu district have expressed worry over alleged illegal gold mining activities that have continued taking place in the area amidst Covid 19.
One of the residents, who opted to remain unknown, notes that there has been an increase in the number of foreign visitors, who have been seen conducting mining activities at Zovuluma hill.
The resident, who is also working for one of the miners, says the residents have engaged the area councilor to inform relevant authorities.
And when contacted for a comment, Kajilime ward councilor David Mthika says he was recently informed that there are people who are reportedly coming from Lusaka and are conducting gold mining activities at Zovuluma without following the proper laid down Covid 19 health guidelines.
He says the mining activities happening at Zovuluma hill have raised concern among members of the public in the ward especially that most people conducting mining activities are coming from Lusaka, which has the second highest number of Covid 19 cases after Nakonde.
He has called on government to intervene adding that the concerns by the residents are true and need urgent attention.
Some drivers in Chipata have expressed concern over the stalled construction works of Kalindawalo Road. The Taxi Drivers told Breeze FM News that the road is important for their business and are now wondering why its construction has stopped. A check by Breeze FM News found that the road has only been improved to bituminous standard, on a stretch between the Chipata Golf Course and Magazine Compound. The road has been under construction for more than two years now. But Chipata Mayor Sinoya Mwale has attributed the delay in construction of Kalindawalo Road to logistical issues. Mr Mwale says Sable Construction Company, who has been working on the road, was partially funded for the work that has been done so far. He assured the drivers that works will resume as soon as logistics are made available.
Chief Mphamba of the Tumbuka speaking people of Lundazi district says the implementation of the Mphamba water supply extension project will reduce possible outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
Speaking to Breeze FM News, the traditional leader notes that for a long time now people in his chiefdom were sharing water sources with domestic animals, as they entirely depended on water from shallow wells.
The traditional leader however, called on the water utility company to extend the water supply project to higher laying villages in the chiefdom.
He explained that currently the only people that are able to benefit from the project are those situated in low laying places.
Meanwhile Eastern Water and Sanitation Company Managing Director Aaron Mulinda says the project is targeting about three hundred customers.
He says that so far, the first phase of the project, which involves the installation of 2.2 kilometer water pipes and other associated fittings has been completed.
Mr. Mulinda says the company is now connecting new customers in the area and that so far 8 households have been connected