Authorities bar VP from donating to Nsanje flood victims

District Assembly officials and the police on Friday barred State Vice President Joyce Banda from making an official donation of food, blankets and other relief items to families that fell victim of perennial floods in the Lower Shire district of Nsanje.

Prominent among the relief items are 500 bags of flour.

According to a senior district assembly official, the decision to stop the Vice President from making the donation followed “instructions from above”. He could not elaborate.

Joyce Banda: Stoppped

Banda was scheduled to make the donation at Traditional Mlolo’s Headquarters, where this year floods left many families homeless.

She was later scheduled to proceed to address a public rally of her People’s Party (PP) and Nsanje Community Centre Ground. The rally was not stopped, according to the district assembly official, who preferred anonymity. This was also confirmed by the People’s Party Deputy Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda.

“The Vice President is on her way to Nsanje as I am talking. The primary objective of her trip here was to sympathize with the flood victims and she is bringing with her relief items to alleviate the suffering that the people in floods prone areas are currently going through,” Msonda told Nyasa Times in an interview.

He said the Vice President will go ahead to make a “symbolic” donation of the relief items at the community centre ground where she will be addressing the public rally.

Floods

Floods, which were as a result of Cyclone Funso that hit parts of Mozambique closer to Nsanje, recently destroyed over 70 houses in the area of Traditional Authorities  Mlolo and Mbenje in the district. The floods had affected Tambo, Nyang’a, Mwanabowa villages and also Bangula market.

Nsanje District Commissioner, Rodney Simwaka said a fortnight ago that preliminary figures indicate that the floods from Thangadzi and Nyamalikombe rivers, led to the destruction of 70 houses.

Mlolo flood victims are yet to receive relief assistance from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, as authorities say the distribution  exercise of the relief items, has delayed due to fuel shortage.

The Vice President’s donation would therefore be a huge relief to the victims, according to the district assembly official.

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