Some Malawian ‘movers and shakers’ have said government should remove all obstacles for Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) to continue his charity initiative under ‘Prophetic Channel Aid’ as drought his nation has been declared a national disaster.
President Peter Mutharika declared a state of national disaster due to food shortages caused by a severe drought in the southern part of the country.
“The projected drop in maize harvest is estimated at 12% from last year’s output,” Mutharika said.
“More people will be food insecure and will require humanitarian relief assistance for the whole of the 2016/17 consumption year,” he added.
Economists Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Henry Kachaje took it on social media to say the appeal for help should also be extended to Bushiri who suspended his program of distributing bags of maize -a staple-food in the nation – to thousands following political pressure.
Kachaje wrote on Facebook: “ Kapenatu tingomupempha uyu amati ‘Major 1’ atithandize kupeza chimanga chokhacho abale… zativuta izi… State of National Disaster… because next will be revising projected GDP growth further and further downwards… chakuma 0.3% or there about (Malawi is better off to seek help from Prophet Bushiri – fondly called Major 1 – to help with his maize distribution with the national disaster because next will be revising projected GDP growth further and further downwards around 0.3% or there about).
A law scholar Sunduzwayo Madise also posted on Facebook that it would be prudent to have Bushiri donate his maize.
“A few months ago when the alarm of food shortage was raised, apologists were quick to say we had enough food in ADMARC Depots and at the Strategic Grain Reserves. When Bushiri tried to distribute maize, he was stopped from distributing food to hungry and needy Malawians.
“Whatever your views on him, Bushiri is a Malawian and he evidently has more than change to spare
Today the President is asking the international community for food aid. Where are the apologists that were telling us we had enough food? And where is/are the ‘wise’ one(s) that stopped Bushiri doing what the President is now asking for? Or should the food aid only come from non-Malawians?” Madise wrote.
Bushiri had complained that he was facing obstacles from Malawi government in his maize distribution and wrote a strong worded letter to President Peter Mutharika protesting.
The ‘Major 1’ told Nyasa Times that he remains committed to continue assisting the poor through his charity initiative.
There has also been calls by Members of Parliament in the National Assembly, asking the millionaire celebrity preacher to keep helping the starving citizens as hunger bites hard, mostly to the poor.
About 2.8 million Malawians – nearly 20% of the population – face food insecurity, making the country one of the worst hit in southern and eastern Africa, where the current drought affects 50 million people, according to UN figures.
Malawi was hit by a drought linked with climate change last year, when flooding also hit its southern region. A new drought caused by the climatic phenomenon El Nino is now ravaging the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :