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Monday, February 26, 2024

CDEDI insists on Maize prices slashing for locals’ benefits

Namiwa carrying a placard during the vigil

The country’s civil rights group, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is insisting on slashing maize prices for locals’ benefits.

The grouping is also demanding availability of the staple food in all corners of the country, the same way ballot boxes are distributed during general elections.

The demand comes after Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale failed to tell the nation on new prices of the commodity which sold currently in the range of MK30,000 to MK50,000 per 50 kilogram.

Kawale told Malawi Parliament on Thursday, August told the house that 12,640 metric tones of Maize will be distributed across without setting new prices.

The minister disclosed that in the first phase 10,170 metric tones of maize will go to the Southern region, and 1,150 metric tones to the Central and Northern regions.

But CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, whose grouping is holding vigils at Parliament Building since Wednesday this week, insists that maize prices should not be sold more than MK12,000 per 50-kilogramme bag.

Namiwa hinted that the current government set up prices of MK25, 000 per 50kg is exorbitant for locals amid ailing economy prevailing in the country.

“The first thing we want to see is President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance government flooding maize in all selling points across the country, the same way votes are distributed during elections.

“Secondly, Tonse government must formalise the proposed new prices of maize, at MK12,000 per 50-kilogramme bag,” demands Namiwa.

CDEDI however is against rationing the maize, despite being an indirect admission that the situation is worse than projected, “Rationing will only worsen the situation on the ground as some selfish individuals will hijack the rationed maize”.

Meanwhile, Agricultural Development Markets Cooperation (ADMARC) depots are to be opened for operations.

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.

Despite numerous challenges facing Malawi, Chakwera chose to go for 10 days foreign trip without remorse on Malawians’ sufferings.

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