Central East Africa (CEAR) Railways company has expressed concern that villagers along its rail line in Balaka and Machinga are attacking trains in order to steal wheat which they use as flour for cooking Nsima.
Cear publicist Chisomo Mwamadi said the situation is now getting out of hand, forcing the company to step up security as villagers attack train wagons to steal wheat which they use for cooking Nsima.
“The trend is on the rise especially along the Liwonde and Nkaya,” said Mwamadi.
He said recently, villagers stormed Liwonde train station where they went to collect rotten wheat and police had to be called in to disperse the rampaging hungry villagers.
At least three million Malawians are facing starvation following acute food shortage blamed on El Niño weather phenomenon.
Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza has said grain marketer Admarc has 50000 metric tonnes of maize in stock; a statement challenged by the Catholic church trough its social arm and other civil society groups.
Right to Food executive director Billy Mayaya is blunt on Chiyembekeza’s assertion, “that is a total lie.”
Mayaya challenged the government to show civil rights groups and the media where the maize is.
“They think if they tell us the truth that there is no maize, their popularity will go down politically. Government is jeopardising people’s lives,” said Mayaya.
He said people including women and children are sleeping on Admarc depots weeks on end an indication there is no maize in Admarc depots.
He asked President Peter Mutharika to declare a state of emergency on food.
National Food Reserve Agency executive director Nasimuko Saukira said the grain reserve has a meagre 21000 metric tonnes for World Food Programme for relief to the needy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :