Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Dedza East member of parliament, Juliana Lunguzi has said the Peter Mutharika government should stop living a lie that no one will die of hunger in the country, saying already four children have starved to death in her constituency.
Lunguzi said in parliament that four “kids” have died with hunger-related illnesses and the situation is not getting any better.
“I want to register and repeat here that in Dedza East, now we have registered four deaths. And when I say this, Honourable Members, I am not saying you have killed the kids. What I am saying is: because we have hunger, somebody has died. So we need to understand each other so that we can go and seek solutions,” said Lunguzi.
Health officials in Dedza confirmed the deaths.
Commenting on government calls to engage into irrigation, Lunguzi said she did a research and found out that in 2008, Parliament approved US$30 million to the agriculture sector. In 2011, a loan of US$50 million was taken by government and in 2012, Malawi sourced a loan of US$76,500 million from the Indian Bank.
“In all the three loans, something was allocated to greenbelt. And when Honourable Minister was addressing us, he said that one of the solutions was to mobilise resources. I am sceptical, as a Malawian. When we mobilise these resources what are we doing with these resources? People from Dedza East are and Malawians are asking,” said Lunguzi.
“I feel that the problem is that we do not have resources. It is how we are using the resources as a country. This is laughable that for the past six years, we have taken loans amounting to US$156 million. Everyone has something on greenbelt. Where is the maize? If we are going to Zambia to look for maize when we sourced a loan as a country and we are asking the private sector and donors to give us money again, for what? Somebody knows where this money is.
“And when you read the deliberations in the reports, we all waived the Standing Order because it was urgent in view of impending climate change. Yet when you are giving us the statements today, you also say we are in this crisis because of climate change. But we already agreed on how to solve this crisis through the millions that we have allocated,” said Lunguzi.
The Dedza East MP said she will soon ask parliament to get a detailed report from the Minister of Finance and Minister of Agriculture.
“Where is the US$156 million loan from the Indian Bank? Because it is not us who will pay but the young people like me are going to pay.
“So on behalf of the young people of Malawi, I am feeling the burden of this loan. And I feel sorry for Malawi, as old people, you can keep on borrowing and asking for money. We are sending SOS that we are in a crisis. When we borrow, we don’t know what we did. We bought tractors and shared among ourselves. We can’t even account for those tractors. We claimed we have our own greenbelt programme, we can’t point at it.
“We said of the loans, through you Mr Speaker, Sir, that in Salima, Mangochi, Karonga we are going to develop irrigation programmes covering 1 million hectares and we borrowed money,” said Lunguzi.
She asked the Government Assurance Committee, the Legal Affairs Committee and the Agriculture Committee of Parliament to sit down with the Minister of Finance and Minister of Agriculture and “tell us where this money is. Otherwise, we cannot keep on borrowing. Our young people will never have good life because of us and what we are doing.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :