Feb 20, 2018 Last Updated 1:58 PM, Feb 20, 2018
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At least 24 people have been arrested by the Blantyre Police following a sweeping exercise conducted at Wenela Bus Depot and Blantyre City as a whole. 

Blantyre Police Station Public Relations Officer, Augustus Nkhwazi said the sweeping exercise which took place on Friday was aimed at bringing sanity at Wenela Bus Depot especially for people travelling to and from various destinations.

Nkhwazi said the exercise was also meant to inspire confidence among city residents of safety and security of both their lives and property.

“Two of those arrested during the exercise namely Gracium Mbewe, 28, of Lifa Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chigaru in Blantyre and Innocent Sitebo, 20, of Siweni Village in T/A Chapananga, Chikwawa will be charged with illegal selling of liquor which contravenes section 72 (1)(a) of Liquor Act.

The other 22 will be charged with touting which contravenes Regulation 8 (b) as read with Regulation 29 of the Road Traffic Act,” Nkhwazi said.

The police publicist said the suspects will appear before the court on Monday February 05, 2018 to answer to their respective charges.

In a quest to prevent cholera outbreak, the Blantyre City Council (BCC) has banned the sale of cooked foods in Malawi's commercial capital.

It follows the outbreak that has hit some parts of the country with some related deaths recorded.

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and cause death if left untreated.

It is caused by drinking water or eating food contaminated with particular bacteria.

Mainly such bacteria are found where there is no proper hygiene.

Malawi has now registered four deaths from the disease, with 199 cases recorded.

Many government agencies and nongovernmental organisations are on the forefront raising awareness on preventive measures against the outbreak.

The Blantyre City Council has also taken a step further in an effort to address the problem.

The council has imposed a ban on the sale of ready-to-eat foods as confirmed by the spokesperson Anthony Kasunda.

In Zambia, government there says it will open its international school and some retail centres in the capital after making sufficient progress in its fight to stem a cholera outbreak.

Lusaka has borne the brunt of an epidemic which began last September with data released on Saturday showing 3 148 cases nationwide, 72 of them fatal.

The government has sought to stem the spread with a package of measures including a ban on large public gatherings and the nationwide postponing of the start of the school year.

It also introduced a curfew in the slum district of Kanyama, seen as the focal point of the outbreak.

The Blantyre City Council (BCC) is inviting the public to provide input on what needs to be incorporated in the by-laws before they are approved by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The process of getting public views will be open from Wednesday, in which the Council believes is meant to ensure inclusiveness.

The implementation of the revised by-laws will await the approval of the Ministry.

The Council has been reviewing its by-laws, for some years, to conform to the modern City developments.

The review has seen some of the laws amended and the formulation of new legislations to govern the operations of the Council.

The by-laws will among other issues, help the Council to be more effective and vigilant in promoting order in the City.

According to the BCC Chief Executive Officer Alfred Chanza, the review process has been completed and the Council is set to apply for approval from the Ministry, after getting public views.

A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for defiling his 11-year-old step daughter.

The incident happened on December 11 in Manje, in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, when the victim’s mother went to Limbe where she does piece works.

The girl was left in the care of her stepfather, Amos Kadzuwa, who took advantage of his wife’s absence and defiled her.

The matter was reported to Limbe police who charged him with defilement.

In mitigation Kadzuwa pleaded with the court for leniency saying he was an epileptic patient and on medication.

Amos Kadzuwa hails from Alekegwirire village, Traditional Authority Ndindi in Salima district.

Over 16, 000 hectares of maize are reported to be under Fall Army Worms attack in the seven districts of Blantyre Agriculture Development Division (ADD).

Blantyre ADD’s Program Manager, Martini Kausi told the Malawi News Agency that his office had received reports of the Fall Army Worm attack, so the office has already started pesticide distribution.

“We have already started distributing the recommended pesticides which is a total of 1791 litres to all the affected farmers in all the seven districts of Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Neno, Mulanje, Phalombe and Thyolo,” explained Kausi.

The program manager indicated that so far, the Fall Army Worms have affected 56, 341 farming households within the ADD.

He then indicated the Ministry of Agriculture’s frontline officers and lead farmers have been trained on Fall Army Worm timely identification and control as well as recommended pesticide application in an effort to manage the crisis.

“One thing is for sure, the pest is here to stay but with good crop management skill and adherence to instructions by the farmers, the impact can be reduced,” Kausi added.

He added that the ADD with support from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has set up funnel traps in various communities to help reduce the population of the pest.

These traps work by attracting the opposite sex of the pest whose scent have been embedded on the trap and once they are caught within the traps they are killed using pesticides, thereby controlling mating and population.

FAO’s Southern Region Resilience officer, Aubrey Sidiki said they had supported communities in Blantyre, Shire Valley and Machinga ADDs with 144 traps to control the Fall Army Worm.

“We have set the traps in the previously identified African Army Worm hot spots where communities were already trained on how to monitor and use similar traps,” explained Sidiki.

The FAO resilience officer also highlighted that the funnel traps enable communities to identify the level of risk in the area and inform them on the right combat approach.

Sidiki added that the community based Fall Army groups were encouraged to prioritize biological and cultural remedies before opting for pesticides.

“Because chemicals are expensive and have side effects, we promote the use of best agricultural practices such as early planting, regular scouting, timely weeding and fertilizer application as well as use of other viable biological measures which are mostly inform of plant extracts such as Neem leaves,” added Sidiki.

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