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Maize supplied by Zambia National Service (ZNS) is Non-GMO, says Vice President

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VICE-PRESIDENT Mutale Nalumango the maize and mealie meal, currently being distributed at affordable prices across the country, is not genetically modified (GMO).

Mrs Nalumango has since challenged those claiming that the mealie meal being supplied by ZNS is GMO to have it tested.

Last week, Information and Media spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa announced that ZNS will start supplying maize at affordable prices country wide.

And responding to a matter of Urgent Public importance raised by Bweengwa Member of Parliament Kasautu Michelo that some opposition members are insinuating that the maize being supplied to the citizenry at affordable pricing is GMO.

“I wish to raise an issue directed to the Vice President concerning mealie meal in the country. With me here, I have a very tangible evidence coming from a social media platform, Zambian Eagle where a Mr Mwale calls on millers to protest all ZNS mealie meal by stopping milling companies to mill for one month. As if this is not enough, there was another meeting where the former republican president moved out of a meeting protesting about some members of Patriotic Front (PF) who are misleading him that they have failed to sabotage for millers not to mill mealie meal.

When they realised that it will not work they have come up with a scheme that the only way they can sabotage mealie meal being supplied is to state that the mealie meal is GMO. If this issue is not handled properly, it will being animosity in the country,” he said.

In response, Mrs Nalumango echoed her earlier sentiments that the maize being supplied is not GMO.

“No one is milling GMO mealie meal. The maize being milled by the National Service is actually from FRA. If people claiming that it is GMO have capacity, let them test it,” she said.

She also said no one has been stopped from helping supplement Government efforts for affordable mealie meal.

“The complaint by millers that they will stop milling for a month, if I was a miller, I would not listen. That will be sabotage. No one has been stopped from milling. We have a responsibility to our citizens. They have been calling for interventions and that is what we have done. For anyone to stand and say it is wrong to reduce prices? Are we being fair? Politics should not be played in that manner,” Mrs Nalumango said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 20th October, 2023)

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Zambia recalls metformin tablets due to non-compliance

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THE Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has taken action to recall metformin tablets, a diabetes medication, after tests revealed non-compliance.

The Authority has since written to the director of Yash Pharmaceuticals Limited following the development.

In a letter written to the pharmaceutical company, the Authority has directed it to recall metformin tablets 500 milligrams batch number KBTO18 manufactured by Bliss GVS Pharma PVT limited of India.

“Following routine post marketing surveillance of medicines by the Authority, the above-mentioned product manufactured by Bliss GVS Pharma Limited, India was analysed at the National Drug Quality Control Laboratory.The product was found non-compliant with respect to Assay test,” reads the letter in parts.

The Authority said the pharmaceutical company should initiate a recall within 14 days of the receipt of the letter.

ZMRA further advised that the company is required to submit a detailed report of the recall process which should include all the relevant information.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)

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ZICTA directs Airtel to compensate subscribers for poor service

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FOLLOWING the recent poor Airtel service experienced, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has directed the company to compensate it’s subscribers within five days.

The Authority has also directed the network provider to immediately engage the public regarding the recent network outages and provide assurance of their resolution.

In a statement, ZICTA Manager Corporate Communications Hanford Chaaba said the Authority is closely monitoring the service provider.

He said ZICTA is deeply concerned with the recent intermittent network and service outages on Airtel network.

“To this effect, the Authority has directed Airtel Networks Zambia Plc to compensate all subscribers in line with the approved compensation policy within five days from today December 8, 2023. The Authority has also directed the network provider to, using all available platforms, immediately engage the public regarding the recent network outages and provide assurance of their resolution,” he said.

Mr Chaaba said the network provider has further been directed to urgently put in place measures that will ensure that such outages are averted, and submit to the Authority a long- term plan to improve network resilience.

He added that the Authority will actively monitor network performances of all services providers to ensure that the Quality of Service (QoS) guidelines are strictly adhered to.

“We encourage members of the public to continue reporting any issues related to unavailability and quality of network or service,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)

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Trade Kings Foundation donates over Two million kwacha to local farmers

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As the year draws to a close the Trade Kings Foundation not only looks at the year that was, but also looks to the future by donating over two million Kwacha, in the form of seed and fertilizers to 500 local farmers from the Nampundwe and Chaminuka communities.

The Trade Kings Foundation recognises the crucial role that small-scale farmers play in Zambia’s agricultural sector. In strengthening their capacity, one significantly contributes to food security in and around these communities. With this in mind, the Trade Kings Foundation continuously strives to support the sector, whether in the form of building structures, laying irrigation for water reticulation, drilling of boreholes and now – the donation of seeds and fertilizers.

As part of the donation, the farmers will attend several workshops to upskill them on topics such as soil health, crop rotation, water management, and pest and disease. The program will also focus on crop ustilisation: how to sell, give back to the local community and plan for the next crop.

During the handover of the donation, Trade Kings Group’s Public Relations Manager, Bridget Kambobe, said, “Small-scale and family farmers play a major role in food production of Zambia. Faced with numerous challenges that include everchanging weather patterns, competition from large industrial farms and a lack of access to reliable, up-to-date information and farming inputs, the drive to support local farmers forms part of the Trade Kings Foundation’s ethos of “Improving Lives” and in so doing we assist in ensuring much-needed food security.”

She concluded, “Our role as Trade Kings Group and Trade Kings Foundation is not only to serve our customers, but to instill hope during the economically uncertain times that we find ourselves in.”

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