MCP alleges PP’s complicit in ‘maize gate’

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is demanding a probe into the alleged disappearance of hundreds of tonnes of maize that was declared rotten and unfit for both human and animal consumption but is not accounted for to date.

MCP  deputy president Richard Msowoya said this during whistle stop tours he conducted at Iponga, Chakwera Village, Mwenilondo, Lupembe, Wovwe and Nyungwe in Karonga District on Tuesday.

A 2013 independent assessment of the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) managed by the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) confirmed that 410.50 MT was declared unfit for human consumption.

Msowoya addressing a rally at Wovwe in Chitipa.-Photo by Collins Mtika, Nyasa Times
Msowoya addressing a rally at Wovwe in Chitipa.-Photo by Collins Mtika, Nyasa Times

Media  reports insinuate that 31,000 metric tonnes of maize disappeared on the pretext of being rotten.

Almost 2 million Malawians risk starvation and would need food according to the recent Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Report.

Malawi’s Presiden Joyce Banda and her ruling People’s Party have been on maize distribution spree to vulnerable communities to help mitigate the effects of hunger.

But Banda has faced intense criticism from various sectors throughout the country on her supposed masked philanthropy and where she has sourced the grain.

Msowoya alleges the ruling People’s Party government pillaged the maize and rebranded it with  Banda’s name for use in its electioneering ahead of the May 20, 2014 tripartite elections.

“They said the maize was rotten but where did they dump it?  Where in Malawi did they destroy it? Go everywhere in the country and you will not find that place. What we know is that the maize was milled and repackaged and is the same that is being distributed at PP rallies,” he said.

The MCP Veep said the PP government lied saying it is sad that Malawians are being forced to purchase a paltry 10 Kilogramme of maize despite family size.

“As MCP we are saying that the PP government must come out clearly and be transparent and accountable. But when they come with that maize take it whether you are an MCP member or not,” Msowoya said.

PP deputy Publicist Ken Msonda referred questions posed to him in SMS to PP Secretary General Paul Maulidi who also did not respond.

Newly appointed Government Spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira said he needed time to find out.

However, Msowoya said government relief food is never branded with a President’s name.

MCP Campaign director and former Malawi Farmers Union Head Felix Jumbe said the 31,000 metric tonnes would have made a difference or the hunger situation in Malawi.

Jumbe said MCP has keys to run this country and bring prosperity to its people.

“Our Kwacha slogan is a wakeup call for Malawians to work prodigiously in whatever sector they are and MCP will empower them to create wealth,” he said.

Cross section of people who attended MCP rally at Wovwe
Cross section of people who attended MCP rally at Wovwe

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