KASUNGU (MaraviPost): Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera has once again criticized President Peter Mutharika for not doing enough in addressing hunger situation in the country citing poor implementation strategies.
Dr. Lazarus Chakwera who is also leader of opposition in Malawi Parliament was reacting to the recent reports on government misfiring on procurement contracts it offered for drought relief package which were aimed at addressing the hunger situation in the country.
The 2016 Second Round Agriculture Production Estimates Survey (APES) released in March showed that the country ’s main staple food, maize has been projected to decline by 12.4 percent as compare to the 2014/2015 final round estimate which was at three percent.
The APES second round further revealed maize production has gone down from 2, 776,277 metric tons in 5 to about 2, 431, 313 metric tons representing 27 percent against percent 42 in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 respectively which is the lowest average in the past five years.
This year’s decline in food production is attributed to weather induced factors which resulted into late commencement of planting rains followed by prolonged dry spells and hot weather which was not suitable for crop productions.
The dry spells were more pronounced in the southern region and some parts of the central region while some parts of the northern region have late suffered floods.
Therefore, in a bid to offset food crisis while checking its recurrence in foreseeable future, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda last month outlined ambitious strategic measures including MK700 million for motorized pumps distribution and installation on irrigation but the package has turned into a nightmare after the procurement procedures were misfired for awarding undeserving contractors.
Addressing thousands of people on Sunday, June 5 at Chenjewazi primary school ground, Traditional Authority (T.A) Simulemba in the central district of Kasungu, soon after arriving from Kenya where he was invited to grace that country’s Parliament breakfast prayers, MCP President Chakwera called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership to be honest to Malawians on real hunger situation and practice politics of transformation.
Chakwera said he was not surprised to learn that the drought relief package procurement procedures get misfired as most individuals are offered contracts on political grounds rather professional and integrity.
“The nation has best policies including natural resources such as water bodies, fertile soils but the challenge lies on how to utilize these resources. We also have a problem with implementation as most paper work isn’t translated on the ground.
“Individuals are awarded government contracts on political, tribal and regional grounds rather on merit and integrity. This won’t take this nation anywhere but perpetual slavery of social-economic woes. God hasn’t forsaken Malawi but our ways aren’t pleasing him.
“The President must demonstrate transformative leadership towards addressing numerous challenges the nation is into unlike the current trend of politicking. He must have a listening ear on our advices which are home grown ideas. But what we see is always heed to anything that comes from donors and western countries”, observes Chakwera.
The MCP leader insisted on the need for President Mutharika to appear before Parliament in order for him to respond very pertinent issues as required by the laws of the land rather responding the same issues on the podium while dodging the parliament.
Chakwera therefore assured the nation that his party will continue providing an insight role on government expenditures and projects implementation as it’s the only party hope for Malawians from economic hardship currently experiencing.