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Weather forecast: Normal to below normal rainfall

VIOLET MENGO, Parliament
DEPUTY Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Lazarous Chungu has told Parliament that Zambia is likely to have normal to below normal rainfall in the 2015/2016 farming season.
And the boycott by United Party for National Development (UPND) members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday entered the second day.
Mr Chungu told Parliament yesterday that the adverse weather pattern is likely to be caused by the El Nino strongest ever heat waves predicted to hit parts of southern Africa towards the end of 2015 and into 2016.
“Farmers are therefore advised to plant early maturing seed. The meteorological department has acquired modern equipment to provide reliable data that can help farmers in understanding what is happening with the weather pattern,” Mr Chungu said.
He said the northern parts of the country will be less affected by El Nino.
Mr Chungu was responding to a question by Mpongwe (MP) Gabriel Namulambe (PF) who wanted to know the weather forecast for the 2015/2016 rainy season and what varieties of maize should be planted by farmers.
And Minister of Labour and Social Security Fackson Shamenda told the House that Government has been actively engaging mining companies and trade unions to avert job losses.
“Government has been consistent that jobs in the mining sector have to be preserved and this will be achieved through dialogue between management, trade unions and government agencies,” Mr Shamenda said.
This was in response to a question by Mr Namulambe, who wanted to know whether Government is aware of plans by some mining companies to lay off workers.
Meanwhile, the boycott by some UPND MPs yesterday entered day two.
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini ordered Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila to issue a ministerial statement early next week on what transpired on the Copperbelt that triggered the boycott.
Dr Matibini made the ruling after a point of order raised by Kalomo Central MP Request Muntanga (UPND) on fracas on the Copperbelt between UPND and PF cadres on Wednesday.
UPND MPs walked out shortly after Mr Muntanga’s point of order.
Choma Central (MP) Cornelius Mweetwa (UPND) later told journalists that the party’s MPs are saddened by the refusal by authorities to allow them to meet on the Copperbelt.

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