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We are concerned about mealie prices, says Cornelius Mweetwa



UPND Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says the New Dawn government is working towards addressing the escalating price of mealie meal.

Mr Mweetwa who is also Southern Province Minister, said the New Dawn Administration is not worried about former President Edgar Lungu’s engagements.

He was speaking at a press briefing this morning at the UPND headquarters where he explained that the party is looking into ways of addressing the escalating mealie meal prices.

“The New Dawn administration is more concerned with the well-being of the people of Zambia and pre-occupied with the movement in the prices of mealie-meal and not the opposition rhetoric,” he said.

Mr Mweetwa stressed that the UPND was more concerned about stabilizing the prices of mealie-meal and that a solution will be found.

And Mr Mweetwa, who said the commencement of production of basal dressing by the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) would drastically lead to the reduction of prices for fertilizer and resultantly mitigate the cost of maize production.

“We are looking for price stability because we know that the high mealie-meal prices have caused a lot of anxiety amongst our citizenry. We are aware that in the long term, we are going to trigger an increase in the production of maize which would in turn lead to a reduction in the prices of mealie-meal,” he said.

He also said that mealie-meal prices may not reduce or go down soon as long as the cost of production remains high saying government is proud to announce that all the 116 district have already received basal dressing (Compound D) fertilizer,” he said.

And commenting on the recent pronouncement by Agriculture Minister, Mtolo Phiri that farmers on FISP would be removed by 2026, Mr Mweetwa charged that the process would lead to a transitioning of farmers to genuine economic enterprises through a loan scheme.

He said the move would reduce on retaining farmers who don’t qualify and also help graduating farmers them to become self-sustaining.

Meanwhile, Lusaka Province Chairperson, Obvious Mwaliteta says he would ensure that cadrism does not resurface and that taking over markets and bus stations was not a justifiable or legal way of making a living.

He also said the Province and National leadership are working together to ensure that challenges among party youths are addressed and explained that going back into markets and bus stations to forcefully collect money from people is not the right way to go.



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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