Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokeswoman Jessie Kabwila has slammed the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) f or being “in denial” about citizens sleeping in empty stomachs, economic meltdown and healthcare crisis.
Kabwila speaking at the just ended high-level conference of civil rights and religious leaders and academics, who met in Blantyre under the aegis of the quasi-religion Public Affairs Committee (PAC), said denial over the maize crisis and economy slump is leaving the DPP government behind.
The MCP spokeswoman said it is an insult for government to publicly claim that there was enough maize when people were hungry because they cannot access the grain.
“I think for us to stand here and tell people that there is maize is an insult to Malawians,” said Kabwila.
The issue of food situation, particularly the availability of maize in Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) depots turned emotional as government tried to defend the situation at the expense of hungry citizens.
Government spokesman and Minister of Information, Jappie Mhango claimed there is 60,000 metric tonnes of maize in her grain reserves, enough to feed the nation.
But Kabwila said government is not being honest on the hunger situation in the country.
“The situation out there is dire,” lamented Kabwila.
“If the maize is there, honestly without looking at colours or whatever, please get the maize into Admarc depots. There are things we can joke about, but seriously when it comes to the maize situation, that is a painful disaster,” said Kabwila.
The delegates booed President Peter Mutharika’s chief adviser on economic affairs Collins Magalasi throughout his contribution as he tried to defend the food situation and authenticate statistics on available maize which he said was enough to feed starving Malawians.
“In total we have 50 500 metric tonnes [MT] of maize which has not been released to the people… People have decided to mislead themselves and this is about the maize that we are talking about, this maize is more than what we need,” said Magalasi.
However, delegates demanded government to prove that there is enough maize by making the commodity available in all Admarc depots countrywide and not promote an era of “spin” .
“Ladies and gentlemen let’s not beat about the bush. People are starving, there is no maize in Admarc markets, no medicine in hospitals, the economy is in dire straits, not talking of water and electricity. What more could we possibly want? This government has failed and it needs to go,” Kabwila said.
In his presentation titled ‘Importance of agriculture to development’, Cisanet’s National Coordinator, Tamani Nkhono-Mvula said: “It’s a pity that government is telling us that it has 60 000 metric tonnes of maize in grain reserves but an inside source has informed me that there is only 2000 metric tonnes.
“This is serious considering that we have close to 3 million people in need of the staple food. We are in a crisis,” he said.
Finance and Economic Planning Minister Goodall Gondwe said government is importing maize from Zambia and other countries to ensure that the citizenry have enough food.
PAC held a two-day stakeholders conference under the theme Defining Solutions to Economic and Political Direction in Malawi with efforts to find solutions to the problems dogging the country.
The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) made a recommendation that Mutharika should step down as Malawi President because he has failed to run the country.
But Presidential adviser on domestic policy, Hetherwick Ntaba, told the delegates to the conference to disregard recommendations, saying they were “baseless.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :