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ZNFU expresses concern with the reported delays in finalizing the procurement processes for the 2022 FISP fertilisers

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THE Zambia National Farmers’ Union has expressed concern with the reported delays in finalizing the procurement processes for the 2022 Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) fertilisers.

Union president Jervis Zimba has told Mwebantu that most small-scale farmers depend on FISP for farming inputs hence the development is a blow and could spell doom on a sector that is still grappling with the climate change after effects following prolonged dry spells experienced last season.

“The fact is rains are just around the corner in some parts of the country and any further delay and lack of clear direction on fertilizer availability will adversely impact on production and productivity for the 2022/2023 farming season.This will lead to diminishing income opportunities, food insecurity and stagnation in the poverty trap for most farmers,” he said.

Mr Zimba has appealed to Government to step up and realize that the consequences will be catastrophic for farmers.

He said the state-of-affairs could have been avoided if the roadmap agreed in April was adhered to because back then, the recommendation by the private sector was that the processes be concluded by June 2022.

“We cannot understand the on-going inertia and farmers are asking! What is the alternative? We urge the Minister of Agriculture to address the farmers on the Fertilizer Procurement developments,” Mr Zimba said.

He called on President Hichilema to set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to handle the issue of the 2022 FISP fertilizer and Seed availability, harness united efforts and coordinate timely delivery.

“In our view, the current FISP mess will require the intervention of the Head of State, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, to instill hope and certainty in the minds of farmers as the twists and turns playing out in the public domain makes it difficult to discern the facts,” Mr Zimba said.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 22nd September, 2022)

Business

ZNS warehouse robbed, 212 GMO mealie meal bags en-route to DRC vanish.

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OVER 200 bags of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) mealie meal meant for export into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been stolen by unknown criminals.

The mealie meal is believed to have been stolen from a Zambia National Service (ZNS) warehouse at Kasumbalesa, where the contraband was stored, awaiting exportation.

ZNS chief marketing and public relations Colonel Mable Nyone said the service as well as police have since launched investigations into the matter.

“The Zambia National Service (ZNS) regrets to report that thieves last night broke into one of our warehouses at Kasumbalesa Border which house imported Eagles mealie meal meant for export to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and made away with about 212 by 25 kilograms of mealie meal estimated at more than K68, 000.This incident represents a slap in the face of the Service’s noble efforts of supplementing Government’s efforts of generating additional resources to complement those coming from the treasury,” she said

Colonel Nyone warned that those involved in the illegal act should, therefore, brace themselves to face the full force of the law.

She said the service, working closely with the Zambia Police, will fiercely pursue the individuals behind this irresponsible criminal act to ensure they are brought to justice.

“The perpetrators risk facing, not only charges related to breaking in and stealing bags of mealie meal but also a possible charge on illegally offloading genetically modified organism (GMO) commodities onto the local market, should they attempt to offload the commodity on the Zambian soil,” she said.

Colonel Nyone urged Zambian citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to the sale or distribution of the stolen ZNS mealie meal, particularly those bearing black labels.

“As a direct response to the unfortunate incident, ZNS will intensify security measures at all of our depots to prevent any further occurrences. We are committed to safeguarding our facilities while at the same time protecting the interests of the Zambian people who have chosen not to consume any GMO product,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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ZRA uncovers vehicle identity scam

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THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has unearthed a motor vehicle identity scam in which perpetrators use registration numbers of other motor vehicles to smuggle vehicles into the country.

In a recent development related to the ongoing investigation, a vehicle previously belonging to the Zambia Revenue Authority, which was involved in an accident and subsequently written off by the insurance company, has had its registration details illicitly used for another vehicle.

ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said the new vehicle was not duly cleared, and no duties were paid for its registration, constituting a serious violation of national laws and regulations under the Customs and Excise Act.

He said the estimated revenue loss from this smuggling act is K 97,700.

“The vehicle in question has since been detained by the Authority, and extensive investigations are underway to uncover the individuals responsible for this fraudulent activity. This incident underscores the sophisticated nature of the fraud being perpetrated and the lengths to which individuals will go to circumvent legal and regulatory frameworks,” he said.

Mr Nzala said the Authority in partnership with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), the Zambia Police Service, and other key stakeholders, is intensifying efforts to enhance the security features of vehicle registration documents and to tighten controls across the board.

“Our goal is to prevent future incidents of fraud and to protect public revenues and safety. We call upon anyone with information related to vehicle identity theft, including the misuse of registration details of vehicles written off or involved in accidents, to provide such information to ZRA. Your cooperation is vital in our ongoing efforts to combat these illegal activities,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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MultiChoice Talent Factory wins CSR and Responsible Business Leadership award

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THE MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative of MultiChoice, has been honored with the prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Business Leadership Award at the 5th CSR and Responsible Business Awards Ceremony.

The event took place in Livingstone.

The award is bestowed upon organisations that demonstrate outstanding commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and exhibit exemplary leadership in responsible business practices.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy which was established in 2018, has been a beacon of opportunity for aspiring creatives across Africa.

“The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy has been active since 2018 and is currently entering its 5th cohort. It is a comprehensive one-year, MultiChoice fully sponsored training program accredited by the University of Zambia, designed to develop the professional skills of young creatives in the African film and television industry,” reads a statement.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 19th February, 2024)

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