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Give Mealie meal a break, Agriculture Minister advises



THE Minister of Agriculture,Reuben Mtolo Phiri has implored Zambian’s to give mealie meal a chance to achieve it’s economic price by consuming other products.

He says this will be done through allowing other products compete with maize and mealie meal as an all day meal as is seem in most households.

Mr Phiri has since advised people to change their eating habits to help maize achieve it’s Economic value and also for the purpose of achieving healthier dieting.

Mr Phiri was responding to a question by Kantanshi area Member of Parliament Anthony Mumba who after a Ministerial statement by the Minister on the status of the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP) for the year 2023 to 2024 in Parliament raised a concern on the spike in prices of farming products.

“We as Zambian’s should realise that it is not only the cost of inputs that determine the prices of maize and it’s products . Let us allow maize and mealie meal achieve it’s economic price. When you see us giving out Sorghum, sunflower seeds and others, that is what we are trying to achieve. People should change their eating habits. You cannot be eating porridge in the morning, Nshima at lunch and Nshima in the evening. That is making mealie meal very very cheap,” Mr Phiri said.

He outlined that there is need to have other products on the table so that people have healthier diets and this will also help mealie meal find it’s proper price for Zambians to benefit.

Mr Phiri also warned Agro dealers after Kalomo Central Member of Parliament Harry Kamboni expressed concern over them duping farmers through the E-voucher system that they will be arrested of found wanting.

“I must say that, I would not like to rattle feathers, but the system was made bad by some agro dealers who had no heart for the farmers and messed up the system because of fraud. That now will not happen because they will be arrested. This is a warning that if you think this is business as usual, you will go to jail,” he warned.

Earlier in his ministerial statement, Mr Phiri announced that more than one million small scale farmers will benefit from the 2023 FISP.

He said that the programme will have two modalities being direct input support and the E-voucher system.

Mr Phiri Further clarified that there is no and will not be any delay in distribution of the FISP this year as is being insinuated by some people.

Mr Phiri also outlined that Government will wean out some farmers after 2025 to help give chance to others also to benefit through the program.

He has further also announced that he will be back in the August House to give an indication of an extra 30,000 beneficiary farmers to benefit on a different program which will be a pilot program based on loans as Government migrates from free FISP into a loan situation.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 13th July, 2023)


President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house



THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.

This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.

Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi  said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit  because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.

Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.

“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.

“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.

“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.

The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.

In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.

The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.

He  further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.

However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo  did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.

He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)

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Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court



PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.

The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.

Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.

The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.

When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.

In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.

(Mwebantu, Friday,  8th December, 2023)

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DPP wants more punishment for CK



THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.

On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.

This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.

After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.

But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.

Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..

“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.

I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)

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