State urged to address mealie-meal shortage
Petauke, March 5, 2013, ZANIS…….. Chief Nyamphande of the Nsenga people in Petauke district has appealed to the government to address the mealie- meal shortage that has recently rocked the province.
Chief Nyamphande says it is disturbing to see people queuing up for the essential commodity when the country has recorded successive bumper harvests.
He said that he witnessed people almost looting a truck which had brought mealie-meal to Petauke district recently.
The chief raised the concern when eastern province permanent secretary Bert Mushala paid a courtesy call on him at his palace.
And Mr Mushala said government has put in place measures to ensure that the staple food is in constant supply to avoid shortages.
The permanent secretary disclosed that the government has also written to shop owners to allow consumers to buy only two bags of mealie-meal as a stop- gap measure to reduce smuggling.
He observed that the shortage is as a result of some unscrupulous people who are smuggling the commodity to Malawi.
And in a related development, Chief Mumbi of the Nsenga people of Petauke district has noted that his chiefdom will experience a low crop yield in the 2013/2014 farming season owing to the late delivery of fertilizer.
Chief Mumbi told the permanent secretary that apart from the late delivery of the commodity some civil servants were abusing and manipulating the system to disadvantage farmers.
He said there was need to transfer the named officers because they were counterproductive to the development of the country.
He also lamented the poor road network in his chiefdom which has become impassable because of the rains.
The chief also appealed to government to consider drilling more boreholes and build health centers as people are forced to walk long distances to access the facilities.
Chief’s subsidies source of wrangles – Mushala
Nyimba, March 5, 2013, ZANIS–Eastern province permanent secretary Bert Mushala says government has noted that subsidies being paid to traditional leaders have triggered succession wrangles.
Mr Mushala said government will not involve itself in succession wrangles but will follow the family lineage and tradition used in choosing a chief.
Mr Mushala said this when he paid a courtesy call on senior chief Luembe of the Nsenga people of Nyimba district in the eastern province.
The permanent secretary said the PF government will continue to work and involve the chiefs in developing the country as they are the custodians of the land .
Mr Mushala told the chief that Nyimba district will have nine health centres out the 650 which the government has earmarked to construct countrywide while a stretch of 10 kilo meters of township roads will be tarred under the 150 kilo meter pave Zambia road project.
He also told the chief that the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) will work on some of the feeder roads in the district starting next month in April.
Meanwhile, Government will use the maps drawn in 1958 to resolve boundary disputes which have rocked most of the chiefdoms in the province.
Mr Mushala said this in reponse to Chieftainess Mwape who complained about a boundary dispute between her chiefdom and that of chief Nyampande of Petauke district on one hand and that of chief Chisomo of Mkushi on the other.
And Cheiftainess Mwape has commended the PF government for working on the Mwape- Nyimba road leading to her palace.
Chieftainess Mwape is however disappointed that the construction of a local court was still at slab level while the same was completed in chief Nyalungwe’s area adding that the contractor has abandoned the project and left the workers in the cold without paying them.
She said her people were faced with starvation because of the human-animal conflict which has left most of the fields ravaged by elephants.
Mr Mushala also met chief Nyalungwe at his palace who complained about the lack of mobile phone network connectivity by all the three service providers in the chiefdom.