Two children have died in Dedza after eating poisonous cassava as their parents were away searching for food, the first known recorded deaths connected directly to hunger in Malawi.
Mtakataka police station officer in charge Goodwin Sambo confirmed the two deaths at Mua, saying another child is battling for his life at Mua mission hospital.
“Their parents were away in search of food when they three children were very hungry and ate the poisonous cassava,” he said.
Sambo said the cassava is not supposed to be eaten raw but due to hunger, the three children hastily ate it.
He identified the dead children are Adidi Tembo and Pemphero from Nkumbi village in the area of chief Kachindamoto in the district.
The two deaths occurred exact time minister of Agriculture Allan chiyembekeza was assuring Malawians at a news conference in Lilongwe that the country has enough food.
Chiyembeka said the government has just bought 50000 metric tonnes of maize from private traders and Auction Holdings Commodity Exchange.
“The only challenge we had was logistics because we had three parallel programmes running the same time requiring the same vehiclles,” said Chiyembekeza.
His comments sharply contradict that of Finance minister Goodall Gondwe who just a week ago said the government is struggling to raise K3.5 billion to buy extra maize for the country.
The Catholic church through its social agencies has said the government should come out in the open and declare there is no maize.
The church’s director of social development, Casten Mlume said the government should just say the truth than start politicking on the matter.
“The maize is not there. People are struggling at Admarc depots to get maize, they are staying for seven days or over day and night. There is simply no maize in this country,” said Mlume who oversees Catholic Development Commission (Cadecom), CCJP, Catholic Education Commission, Catholic Health Commission.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :