Malawi consumer watchdog says President Banda ‘horribly’ failing her duties

The Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has lambasted President Joyce Banda claiming she is grossly failing her duties and instead is busy wasting tax payers money to promote her Peoples Party (PP).

CAMA said it was dismayed with Banda’s continued draining of taxpayers’ money through subsistence allowances she gets together with her husband (the first gentle man), cabinet ministers and other top civil servants whenever she holds political rallies, coined as development rallies, across the country

“As consumer rights watch dog in the country we are deeply saddened with lack of government’s seriousness when it comes to matters of consumer’s welfare.

“The focal issue here is that the president is grossly failing her duties by not ensuring the country has adequate stocks of maize and instead she is seeing wisdom in wasting taxpayers’ money by holding rallies,” CAMA Programmes Manager, Pastor Rumbani Mkandawire told Nyasa Times.

Mkandawire: JB tours draining reources

He said the President had the responsibility to offer mechanisms to address food insufficiency in the country and stop depleting taxpayers’ money on political rallies when ordinary Malawians are languishing due to high cost of living.

CAMA has since appealed to Banda’s administration to consider re-allocating more funds to the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to enable it purchase enough maize which is already becoming scarce.

Ironically in this year’s national budget government has only allocated a meagre K1.3billion to the NFRA to buy maize instead of the requested K18.3billion and yet government has allocated K30billion for President Banda’s internal and external travels.

Already in some parts of the commercial city of Blantyre, a 50kg bag of maize is hitting K7 500.

“Ordinary Malawians should be able to have access to it [maize] on the market and we do not want to experience what happened last year when a 50kg bag of maize was selling as high as K12, 000.

“CAMA believes these resources could have been injected into social protection mechanisms to cushion Malawians from the high cost of living due to the Kwacha devaluation and indeed to buy maize and avert the man-made hunger,” suggested Mkandawire.

He added: “We are strongly calling on the president to abstain from politicizing the maize issue. Maize is the strategic crop and staple food. Any mishandling of maize results in misery and deepened poverty more especially for the rural masses many of whom live below the poverty line.”

CAMA alleged the president was busy politicizing the maize issue to gain cheap political mileage and ensure that ADMARC depots have no maize so that she starts moving around and distributing the food handouts to appear as if she was a good leader.

Last week, CAMA appealed to the authorities to urgently assess ordinary people’s welfare and reverse some hardships which have come because of adopting every governance proposals made by Western countries.

CAMA’s plea came in the wake of revelations of hiked electricity tariffs which had gone up by 84 percent during the last 12 months despite continue lack of power by the sole utility company, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM).

However, ESCOM Spokesperson, Kitty Chingota, irked Malawians when she said they should get used to the heavy power bills because electricity tariffs will continue rising.

Power demand for customers countrywide is pegged at over 1 000MW but ESCOM only has an installed electricity generation capacity of 285MW of which 70MW is mostly unavailable hence the never ending blackouts.

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