….Set demos on Wednesday, August 16 in Lilongwe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has dared President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance government to flood maize in all selling points across-the the country.
CDEDI therefore implores the Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale, to go beyond merely mentioning figures of quantities of maize available at the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) at Kanego in Lilongwe, by physically taking stakeholders there to confirm the same.
Addressing the news conference on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in the capital Lilongwe, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa demands that; “Only a physical check at NFRA will help to dispute disheartening reports making rounds in the social media to the effect that that the grain silos are actually empty, hence the minister’s insistence on food rationing, barely two months after harvesting the staple food”.
Namiwa adds, “Our request comes against a backdrop that Hon Kawale promised Malawians that tomorrow,
Wednesday August 16, 2023, he will announce details of how government plans to stabilise maize prices by stocking Admarc markets with the staple grain from NFRA storage.
“Tomorrow, Malawians are expecting to hear at which Admarc depots they should go to buy maize and, most
importantly, at prices the poor majority can afford”.
“Need we remind Hon Kawale that in human rights, violations to the right to food occur when the
State fails to ensure the minimum requirements either through action or omission for the people to be free from hunger.
“As per the wording and spirit of Section 12 of the Republican Constitution, which demands
transparency and accountability in the exercise of the powers borrowed on trust from the people”, he added.
Concurring with Namiwa, one villager from Dowa Veronica Mpendadzuwa expressed worrisome over scarcity of Maize coupled with high cost of the commodity.
Therefore, CDEDI, is demanding on behalf of the millions of all well-meaning Malawians, herethe following;
Kawale, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture chairperson Sammer Suleman to lead the country’s food stakeholders, including the media, to physically verify quantities of maize available in the NFRA silos at Kanengo, and elsewhere.
- Formalise the proposed new prices of maize, at MK12,000 per 50-kilogramme bag.
- Come out clearly on how the maize to be released from NFRA will be transported to all
corners of the country where it is most need.
- Explain to the nation government’s position to replenish the grain reserves, whether through
local production using irrigation farming, or through importation. In the case of the latter,
government should explain the source of the maize and when it would be available in the
That said, CDEDI reiterates its stand that the maize situation in the country is a life-threatening disaster-in-waiting.
- In addition, government’s insistence on rationing the maize, despite being an
indirect admission that the situation is worse than projected, will only worsen the situation on the
ground as some selfish individuals will hijack the rationed maize.
It is against this background that CDEDI is urging Hon Kawale to use the ballot-box-distribution
model to flood the market with maize and in the process push down the prices and flush out
those hoarding the staple food.
Last, but not the least, bearing in mind that food is life, and that those holding the key to the
maize accessibility and affordability, can afford to buy it at any price and, more importantly, this
government’s mastered art of taking Malawians for granted, CDEDI is urging all well-meaning Malawians who personally, or otherwise, feel threatened by the current exorbitant maize prices, to camp at the Parliament Building tomorrow [Wednesday August 16], to force government to do the needful.
Let us not be passive citizens. If we do not join hands to defend our right to food, we will all perish!
Chakwera has failed to fix ailing economy three years in power.
The leadership has been characterised by corruption, nepotism, high inflation and costing of living, shortages of fuel, forex, essential drugs in public hospitals.