By Chikondi Lungu
Traditional leaders in the Northern region of Malawi have ganged up and blame the Mutharika’s administration for directing a maize price hike at the Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (Admarc) markets in the country.
Speaking to the press days ago, Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of Rumphi said that Mutharika’s directive was politically motivated hence a nose punch to many Malawians.
The Paramount Chief further blamed the government that the issue of maize has overtime been politicised and calls in an immediate change from the authorities.
“The hunger crisis we are in is tantamount to system failure, which I believe do not call for political solutions in form of presidential decrees, because indigenous citizens are being subjected to more misery.
In the meantime, perhaps there should have been a committee to look into practical solutions which would work for the poor, this generalised approach will not help matters,” he ranted.
President Mutharika, in October this year ordered Admarc to increase the maize price by 27 percent from K5, 500 per 50 Kilogrammes to K12, 500.
The price hike drove most of the vendors across the country to farther raise their selling price tremendously.
This led to a general outcry that most ordinary Malawians are failing to access the staple grain from anywhere including state-funded Admarc.
Chikulamayembe’s sentiments come after some 16 local chiefs in Karonga expressed similar concerns during a political rally held by Malawi Congress Party’s President Lazarus Chakwera where they asked him together with other opposition legislators to press for a downward adjustment of the maize prices.
In his response the MCP head, said he intends to raise the matter with fellow parliamentarians during the next meeting.
However government through its spokesperson Malison Ndau said they will not bow down to the outcry saying everything is in place to distribute maize to those that cannot afford the current price.
Mutharika said last month that the 6.5 million Malawians facing hunger crisis will be receiving 50 kilogrammes of maize every month from the estimated 262,500 metric tonnes for humanitarian purposes.