DPP councillor for Masasa ward in Mzuzu has accused Mzuzu City Council members of sidelining his ward during relief food distribution because he claimed he was ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) councillor.
Yonamu Mkandwire said this Sunday when DPP Patriotic Cadets distributed relief items worth K1.1 million to flood victims in Mzuzu including Masasa ward residents.
“This is an area where most people died, this is the place most of the death occurred yet the council is not coming here to distribute relief items just because I am DPP,” said Mkandawire.
However chief executive officer for Mzuzu City Council Macloud Kadammanja dismissed Mkandawire’s claims.
Kadammanja said there is a Civil Protection Committee which works with the Department of Disaster and is apolitical.
“This committee has guidelines for the distribution of relief items and it is not affiliated to any political party,” said Kadammanja.
On Tuesday, the ministry of Information and Civic Education issued a statement refuting allegations in Nation on Sunday newspaper alleging the government was favouring DPP sympathisers in the distribution of relief items.
Information minister Patricia Kaliati says the government was distributing the relief items fairly to all people regardless of their political affiliation.
Kaliati led the DPP team that distributed the relief items in Mzuzu over the weekend by donating 50 bags of maize, 500 pales and 100 blankets.
President Peter Mutharika declared the city a disaster zone, and appealed for more support to those affected.
Addressing 1331 victims currently camping at Kaviwale Primary School and Bethel Tabernacle Church at Sonda Township in the city, Kaliat said the DPP was touched with the disaster, hence their support.
“It’s sad that at a time the country is complaining of low yield during this year’s farming season, that is the time we are experiencing such a disaster.
“We thought the situation is alright until the Vice President [Saulos Chilima] came and conceded that these people need urgent support. I have seen myself, people are really suffering and their living conditions are just appalling,” she said.
She called on the victims to use the donation wisely, not sell them as it was rumoured.
Kaliati, on the other hand, echoed the Vice President’s remarks that government will strive to assist the victims within its means till the weather stabilizes.
With children, women and men sharing the same place in the camps, Kaliati, who is also Minister of Information and Civic Education, called for sanity among the occupants.
She said in that kind of scenarios, some individuals take full advantage of the situation by sleeping with little girls, which she said could result in early pregnancies or contracting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).
“In most cases, especially when men and women share sleeping space, some take it as a golden opportunity to sleep around with little girls and even other people’s spouses. So try to conduct yourselves wisely because we don’t want further problems beyond these floods,” added Kaliati.
The torrential rains in Mzuzu, now in the second week, as of Saturday, have displaced over 8,000 people and claimed six lives, five of whom are children aged below ten, according to Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Officer –Additional reporting by Yohane Chideya, ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :