Zambia sprays 10,000 hectares of land to contain locusts

DM Monitoring

LUSAKA: Zambia has so far sprayed about 10,000 hectares of land as part of efforts to control the African Migratory Locusts which have broken out in some provinces, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Michael Katambo, Minister of Agriculture said the chemicals being sprayed have proved to be effective and shown to reduce the locust population by between 85 to 95 percent.
He told reporters during a press briefing that the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa has partnered with the Zambia Air Force in conducting aerial sprays in the affected areas.
The Zambian minister however noted that the locusts pose a threat because of being trans-boundary which requires concerted efforts with neighbouring countries.
According to him, swarms of locust from neighbouring Namibia were entering the country in areas that have already been sprayed hence the need for collaboration.
He said that the government has already engaged the Namibian authorities who have also started the spraying exercise.
The locusts have been located in countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Namibia.
In Zambia, the locusts have been seen in three of the country’s 10 provinces.
Meanwhile, The Zambian government should completely remove the death penalty from its statute books so that the country joins other countries that have abolished it, the country’s human rights body said on Tuesday.
While commending the government for not executing anyone for the past 23 years, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) believes that the government needs to move a step further by abolishing it.
Mweelwa Muleya, the human rights body spokesperson said the government should be encouraged to ensure that the country successfully graduates into the growing number of countries that have abolished the death penalty both in law and in practice.
“To this end, the commission is calling for members of the public and various stakeholders to make submissions to the Zambia Law Development Commission to appropriately amend the penal code and the criminal procedure acts in order to enhance respect for the right to life,” he said in a statement.
According to him, the mandatory death sentence for the crime of treason, murder and aggravated robbery must be amended to give discretionary powers to the judiciary based on merits of each case.
Zambia carried the last execution in 1997.
Furthermore, Musonda expressed optimism that China will support Zambia by ensuring that trade between the two countries is strengthened.
He said China and Zambia has witnessed strengthened bilateral and political mutual trust since the two countries established diplomatic ties 55 years ago.