Ntaba accuses JB on hunger: Mutharika renews ‘property grab’ outbursts

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President Dr Heatherwick Ntaba has launched an outspoken attack on President Joyce Banda’s government, calling on it to address what he said looming hunger in the country and stop  “political witch-hunting.”

Ntaba was speaking during whistle-stop meetings DPP presidential candidate Prof. Peter Mutharika was holding in the central region district of Dowa on Wednesday.

He aid hunger was looming in the country because of the PP’s lack of a policy on agriculture.

Ntaba also called upon the Banda’s administration to come out in the open and tell the nation about what he said the rotten maize saga as well as illegal exportation of about 140,000 metric tonnes of maize.

“How can all that maize go without the government’s attention? We demand an explanation on this issue,” said Ntaba.

Ntaba: Talking to the crowds
Ntaba: Talking to the crowds

Reports say Malawi’s stocks in the maize silos, the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR,) stood at a meagre three percent of a target of 30 000 tonnes by mid-July pointing to an imminent food crisis.

The Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet) July 2013 report notes that through funding from Norway and Ireland, notes that a substantial number of households—about 66 percent—are are now engaging in some form of food related coping in order to access food.

He also said as a medical practitioner he has seen expired medicine in public hospitals being given to patients.

Also speaking, former ministers Dr Jean Kalilani and Goerge Liwimbi touted the presidential candidature of Mutharika.

They contended that DPP must take back government because people are looking for food in their homes, better security and infrastructure developments.

In his address, Mutharika assured the crowds that DPP is the party that has promoted food security and needed to be voted to reclaim power after losing it last year when his brother late Bingu wa Mutharika died in presidential office  after suffering a cardiac arrest.

He repeated his attacks at President Banda  accusing her of property grabbing in former president’s deceased estate.

“What kind of people takes away property from children who have lost a parent? What type of government loots dead man’s property from his children? When did Malawians start disrespecting dead people?  Is this the type of government you want to lead you?” he said.

Mutharika charged that President Banda has cheapened the status of the Malawian Presidency by constantly attacking Mutharika over the source of his wealth.

Peter, who described himself as the Mutharika family’s patriarch following the death of his brother in April 2012, accused the Banda administration of wanting “to grab property of the deceased estate.”

“It is rather cheap for her [President Banda] to constantly attack Mutharika. It is now becoming embarrassing and cheapening for the ruling party to constantly attack opposition over flimsy grounds at the expense of national development,” he said.

Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu is on record saying government cannot be accused of property grabbing when legally established institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), police and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) investigate any suspicions of wrongdoing.

“All matters of corruption or any indecent ways of amassing wealth, if they attract the eyes of ACB, Fiscal Police or FIU, they become an issue and should not be politicized,” said Kunkuyu.

Mutharika is expected to continue with his whistle-stop DPP campaign   tours this Saturday 10 August  in Mvera, Siyasiya ,Benga,Thavite,Chisoti and Linga.

DPP supporters who attended the raly in Dowa
DPP supporters who attended the raly in Dowa
Mutharika on whistle-stop in the central region
Mutharika on whistle-stop in the central region
DPP crowds at Kachulu
DPP crowds at Kachulu

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