Malawi defies anti-tobacco campaign: Minister says alcohol, sugar are also health hazards

Malawi Government on Monday went flat out  hitting at anti-tobacco campaign which is being champion by the United Nations World Health Organisation(WHO) and that will keep on supporting is tobacco industry, the mainstay of the economy, despite opposition from anti-smoking groups.

Chiyembekeza speaking against anti-smoking campaign

Chiyembekeza speaking against anti-smoking campaign

The tobacco meeting in Lilongwe

The tobacco meeting in Lilongwe

Minister of Agriculture and Water development Dr Allan Chiyembekeza speaking when he was opening high level Indaba on tobacco which Malawi is hosting , said Malawi would continue to support the tobacco industry, the country’s second largest employer after the government, until alternative cash crops were found.

The meeting is being hosted at Bingu International Conference Centre and has drawn diplomats, Heads of corporate affairs, representative of Tobacco buying companies such as Alliance One and Limbe Leaf. Others are Heads of Corporate affairs for Phillip Morris, Guillaume Popiol, and Vice President of Universal Leaf from Geniva Mr. Neil Marblorough.

Chiyembekeza, said tobacco plays vital role in the development countries like Malawi.

“Tobacco is our strategic crop which generates 60% of Malawi foreign earnings,” said Chiyembekeza.

Chiyembekeza conceded that African tobacco -producing countries are aware that tobacco may cause diseases to human health.

“We do not deny it,” Chiyembekeza said but pointed out that “tobacco is not alone in causing diseases.”

“Tobacco does not stand alone in this. Other habits derived from the consumption of agricultural products are dangerous : alcohol is addictive and leads to even higher social costs than tobacco consumption, sugar added to food leads to diabetes and obesity, butter leads to increased cholesterol,” said Chiyembekeza.

“We cannot accept the discrimination and we need to stand united and resist it,” said Chiyembekeza.

Chiyembekeza called upon countries to pull the resources together and help safeguard the crop.

President Peter Mutharika is also on record saying this year when he opened tobacco market that the country’s future will depend on tobacco.

“We are all aware that Malawi cannot stop growing tobacco overnight we will continue growing tobacco based on trade requirements until when there is no demand,” he said.

TCC chief executive officer Bruce Munthali said the organisation has licensed three new tobacco buyers, including Chinese firm Sino-Ma, which will also set up a cigarette processing factory in the country.

Malawi’s draft economic growth strategy proposes a diversified agricultural sector, where tobacco will be replaced by crops like cotton and cassava.

Greater emphasis on mining, tourism and manufacturing is also planned—although this has been met with scepticism from certain business representatives.

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Clement Chiwoko
This is testimony of how ill informed Malawi Politicians and some so called academics are. You can grow as much tobacco as you want, who is going to buy it and don’t forget Malawi tobacco is not the best. Those who want to buy tobacco can get better staff than from Malawi. One academic has has suggested to grow Chamba to help our economy what a load of rubbish. You can only do that if you find a market otherwise the world will shun you and you cannot sell anything else. Does he know the existence of the word Sanctions.

The trouble that our government has is arrogance Unfortunately, academics like the Minister of Agriculture take up this arrogance and it becomes the hallmark of their tenure of office.
Education is supposed to make people think and arrive at well reasoned conclusions. this seems to be eluding Bruce Munthali and Allan Chiyembekeza, despite their high academic achievements. Does politics ‘uneducate’ people?
Politics appears to be dangerous then. I would advise our elite to avoid it altogether because they end up behaving worse than those who have not gone to school!


educated people if they join politics they become uneducated or intentional uneducated

el- Chapo(small in stature. big in mind )
el- Chapo(small in stature. big in mind )

Promiscuity and road accidents are claiming more lives on global stage than tobacco smoking. I support you 100% Mr minister.


Iwe No.3 kaya mukuti “sain like it is….” whatever! Ife tatopa ndi anthu ngati inu omangotukwana and criticizing anzao without offering solutions. Come on, yes were in a democracy where freedom of speech is allowed, but we should understand kuti Malawi ndiwa tonse. It is the responsibility of every Malawians to ensure that Malawi achieves meaningful development. What you need to do is to submit your brilliant ideas to the Minister and am sure they will receive full attention. Chonde a Malawi can we have positive attitude!!!!!!!


Dunderhead Chiyembekeza!Educated fool.The comparison you are making doesn’t make sense.If a person close to me is either drinking/eating sugar or alcohol am I indirectly drinking it.?What about tobacco?Even your ass knows that I will be smoking too!

peter muthanyula

Good job Minister! The West is cooking up all the tricks in the book, just to keep economically oppressing us. Smoking is a choice, just like alcohol and sugar. No one is forced to smoke. Tatopa ndi mabodza anu azungu inu!


Get real Minister! Do you really want us to wait for the day when there will be no market for the killer crop? Just because the others are also killers does not make it okay! 2 wrongs won’t make a right! Wake up! Those others are only protecting their jobs while you are creating a death trap for our children. There are other income earners that can replace tobacco e.g. Tourism, which forward-thinking countries are investing in within the SADC region, but you are building an auction floors in Chinkhoma instead. Shame!

sain it like it is

stupid minister..dont u see u are fighting a losing battle..this is a comon sense issue which you clearly dont have….so u waiting on who to bring the altenative cash crop?malawi needs to diversify now or lose more in the future…but with people like chiyembekeza in power that will not happen in thi day and age…

Well done mr minister these whites ….when did they realise its a health hazard everything in this world is a health hazard even coffee they consume every 15 minutes so they should even ban cocacola because its a health hazard too much gas that causes accumulation of acids that is very dangerous too. Fuck them this is a matter of choice. Pls whites dont poke ur nose in our affairs. By the way who introduced tobbaco to us? Was it not you white people? By the way who are our main buyers? Is it not you again? So Shut up… Read more »

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