Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded President Lazarus Chakwera and his administration to come up with solutions to deal with the hunger that has hit Malawi.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa made the statement on Tuesday during a press briefing in Lilongwe.
Speaking with reporters, Namiwa stated that Malawians are risking their lives by eating anything, including wild tubers and bitter maize husks (madeya) for survival which is dehumanizing considering that everyone has constitutional right to food.
He added that government has made a decision of closing Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) which will worsen the situation because food is life.
“Apart from the tenuous supply of maize in Admarc selling points, the prevailing maize prices have made the staple food a preserve of those to whom, money is not a problem, but how to spend it.
“Meanwhile, CDEDI would like to draw President Chakwera’s attention to a newspaper article in The Nation of Monday, October 16, 2023 titled ‘Admarc to close shops’, which confirms fears that there is no hope of survival for the poor majority in both urban and rural areas of this country.
“Contents of the article validate what was already in the public domain, that the country does not have enough maize enough stocks in its strategic grain reserves, and that no efforts were being made to replenish the stocks have been made.
“But it is disheartening to note that, to some extent, in the said article government creates an impression that it will import maize from Zambia and Mozambique,” he explained.
He went on to say that the impression that government is creating is wrong and a clear indication that the Tonse Alliance administration does not care a dime about the plight of the majority poor in as far as food security is concerned.
He suggested that politicians should let technocrats and the Ministry of Agriculture, Admarc and NFRA (National Food Reserve Agency) to make independent and swift decisions that will save the nation from the current food crisis because politicising food is suicidal.
“Again, government should tell Malawians when the second phase of maize distribution will start in the Admarc selling points. Needless to remind the President that ‘a hungry man, is an angry man.
“Should the President continue to bury his head in the sand, and wishing away the situation, CDEDI will not hesitate to wear its governance robs and mobilise the hungry Malawians to storm relevant offices, notably district council offices, to demand their right to food,” he said.
Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) reports show that 4.4 Malawians are on the verge of starvation.