PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has announced that Government is in the process of establishing a credit window to help boost maize production which will in turn help stabilise the price of mealie meal on the market.
The Credit window is a mechanism that will have small holder farmers help accelerate the levels of maize production, thereby helping create stability of mealie meal prices.
The farmers to be targeted are those who are not eligible to access the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) as it is only for the vulnerable.
However, it has been observed that dependence on the FISP farmers alone cannot sustain the production levels of maize, which is why establishment of a credit window to allow others will help boost it.
President Hichilema says currently, production levels are too low, which has affected the price of mealie meal on the market.
He has, however, assured that the credit window mechanism will not only help boost production, but will help grow the economy further.
This is so because farmers will be able to sell their produce to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya through the credit window financial arrangement.
The Head of State announced this when Bishops from the Anglican Church led by Archbishop Albert Chama of the Anglican Archbishop of Central Africa paid courtesy on him at State House.
“We want to open credit windows so that we can attach produce for well organised farmers to sell through the financial arrangement. This will help work on exporting to DRC and Kenya in a structured way,” he said.
Mr Hichilema also assured that soon, people will see movements with regards to operations at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani mines on the Copperbelt.
“KCM and Mopani, spot on. Now that we have the debt restructuring consummated, we will deal with this. We feel for our people. It is time to address the matter and we will soon see movements,” he said.
He is grateful that the church has continue being a partner in national development and assured that all their concerns raised will be addressed.
Earlier, Archbishop Chama laid out some concerns to the President, among them dependence on FISP by some farmers.
“I know FISP is meant to help people, but there is a situation now where dependence has been created. Yes, FISP should continue, but people have to be educated about having to stand on their own feet,” he said.
He also expressed concern on the inactivity of operations at KCM and Mopani, stating that the issues affecting the mines need to be resolved.
The Archbishop further called on Government to consider having NHIMA offer services for all ailments, unlike the current situation where the insurance body did not cover certain ailments.
Archbishop Chama further concluded by commending Government for the strides already achieved such as mass teacher recruitment, increase of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) free education and an increase in the price of buying maize by Government.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 29th 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)
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)
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)