It is 17:40HRS in Ntcheu district in the Central Region of the Southern African country, Malawi.
This is where Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, Leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church has on Wednesday begun selling cheap maize to save close to two million poor Malawians facing severe hunger.
Though it is getting dark, people from the district continue flocking to Ntcheu Boma and scrambling for the maize going at almost a give away price of K5000 per bag.
To them, it is like Manna from heaven as unscrupulous private traders have been selling them the same quantity four times as much the price the Prophet is offering.
“I still want to get at least a bag for my family. What I earn cannot afford to buy the maize from the vendors selling at exorbitant prices,” says Luka Saidi from Traditional Authority Njolomole.
Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo says they will be taking time at each selling point realizing increasing numbers of people coming for the cheap maize.
“We have enough stocks to cater for all the areas in huge need of the product,” says Nyondo.
The hunger situation has worsened in the country due to floods and Fall Army Worm outbreak that hit Malawi hard affecting several farming households.
Last year, the Malawi government flew adverts seeking the intervention of foreign suppliers of the commodity having failed to realize the required tonnes locally.