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Chakwera warns against theft of relief items

By Solister Mogha 

Zomba, March 18, Mana: President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has appealed to Malawians and those handling relief materials to avoid stealing the items meant for tropical cyclone Freddy survivors.

Speaking at Sekwere Primary school in Zomba on Saturday, where the president visited some affected households staying in camps, Dr Chakwera said he was saddened to hear that some people were stealing relief items that were donated for the needy.

Chakwera said the status in which the country is currently, what was required is love and joint efforts.

“Malawi is heavily hit, and what we need is more people being supported. However stealing of the relief items is inhumane and lack of integrity,” the President said.

Dr Chakwera then assured people in Zomba of government’s support now and in the near future.

” I know some of you have no food and clothing and your fields are wiped away. However with the little resources available, we will do all we can to ensure you get back to your feet,” he said.

The president then hailed neighbouring countries, NGOs and individuals who have offered a helping hand during this difficult time.

Speaking Earlier ,Minister of local Government  unity and Culture, Richard Chimwendo said he personally went to Blantyre where he found relief items being sold to Burundians. 

Chimwendo therefore asked for stiffer punishment to those involved in the malpractice.

” This is not the time for people to enrich themselves, we are facing very  difficult times and we will deal with anyone found stealing items that come from all spheres,” said Chimwendo.

District Commissioner for Zomba, Reignard Chavula said Zomba is one of the affected districts  with 25,231 households in need of support.

Chavula said about 46 camps have been established with a total number of 14,000 people.

The DC said currently, the district is in need of food, clothing and sanitary materials.

“The figures I have given are just from a preliminary report but we will continue with the assessment since we cannot reach out to some areas due to cut- off road network,” the DC said.

Member of Parliament for Zomba Chisi, Mark Botomani hailed the president for visiting those affected.

Botomani said of all areas affected in Zomba, his constituency was the worst hit.

“Of all the eight years I have been a Member of Parliament, this year is the worst, and we have lost everything. People have no homes, food and their crops are gone,” said Botomani.

Group Headman Chawezi said those affected need continued support and that government must also provide seeds for people to plant early maturing crops to replace the loss.

Dr Chakwera started touring victims of tropical cyclone Freddy on Wednesday and according to a released programme, he will continue to tour all affected districts.

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