Malawi government has been urged to heed the warning contained in the report from the Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet) of the food crisis ravaging the poor southern African nation and “act now”.
A Fewsnet report released on March 4, 2016 says the maize stocks in the country will only last the nation up to end of March, about one month before the harvest is expected to begin.
The flagship newspaper The Daily Times in an editorial on Tuesday advised government that it should not be in denial and politicise the crisis considering that food is a matter of life or death.
“One of the things in the recent times, that the government has terribly failed to address, is the food situation in the country. Much as we agree that the country continues to face numerous challenges, the majority of the problems haunting us right now stem from the government’s failure to be decisive and provide solutions,” said the paper in its comment.
The daily accused the Peter Mutharika led Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government of failing to provide leadership in addressing the food situation in Malawi by insisting that all is well “when, in actual fact, it is written all over that we have trouble brewing.”
In the paper, Agriculture Minister, Allan Chiyembekeza, is quoted insisting that the maize stock was enough to feed hungry Malawians until harvest time.
But the editorial said rather than totally dismissing the warning sent by Fewsnet, government should be “a little wiser this time by accepting that all is not well.”
It says: “ Proper planning is a must to counter the effects of hunger which they have neglected for a long time.The cost of neglecting the food situation will be immense.”
The paper says in these hunger times, the government must put politics aside “and for once display to the people who voted for them that there is a solution to our predicament.”
It adds: “We very well know that it is politically correct to insist that the stock will be enough until the next harvest. But deep in their hearts, these government officials know well that the food situation has been mishandled.”
The editorial said the latest warning by Fewsnet should be “the turning point” for Mutharika government to be “decisive and display a semblance of leadership.”
Meanwhile, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have planned endless vigil against President Peter Mutharika from allegedly being insensitive to maize shortage and economic problems
National Right to Good Network chairperson Billy Mayaya said CSOs want to put pressure on government so that it can start responding to issues being raised by Malawians.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :