Opposition legislator Felix Jumbe has become the lone opposition figure to back President Peter Mutharika claims that no one has died of hunger and the country had enough maize stocks this last year and this year.
Jumbe’s comments are likely to pity him on a collision course with his leader, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) whom in the last meeting of parliament asked all members of parliament in the National Assembly to stand and observe a minute`s silence in honour of those who died due to hunger.
“Your Excellency, I agree with you that no one has died of hunger in this country. As chairman of agriculture committee , I know that the country has enough maize. The long queues is as a result of transportation problems. Salima has enough maize only that there are corrupt Admarc clerks.” said Jumbe.
The Salima Central MP was speaking during the official commissioning of Salima Lakeshore Water Supply which in response,Mutharika told Jumbe to be consistent in what he says because in parliament he had been condemning the government for food shortages whilst outside he is saluting the government for having enough food.
“Thank you (Jumbe) for saying that but I wish you said this in parliament when someone told parliament to stand up to observe a minute silence in memory of the so called dead, that is very very irresponsible leadership,” said Mutharika directly picking on his tradition political opponent, Chakwera, who is also Leader of Opposition in parliament.
Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda also told Jumbe to repeat his compliments in parliament.
In the House however Jumbe blasted the government for bad policies which led to severe food shortages.
Residents of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu still struggle to access maize from Admarc markets. Just last month, women used to spend nights out at Admarc depots in bid to access the maize.
Mutharika asked traders to desist from selling their produce to vendors and instead unite with the country’s citizens to harvest more food.
The President declared a state of emergency in the country on Wednesday.