‘Chiefs snatch coupons from Fisp beneficiaries’
Some traditional leaders in Zomba are confiscating coupons from deserving beneficiaries of the Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (Fisp), police said over the weekend.
Zomba Police Station Officer (SO), Macmillan Nyirongo, expressed disappointment with increased cases of chiefs snatching coupons from deserving beneficiaries.
“We’re very disheartened to see leaders taking a leading role in perpetrating violations of the rights of the poor. Our office has received a lot of reports of chiefs confiscating coupons from their poor subjects,” he said
A few days ago, Nyirongo said, they arrested one traditonal leader in connection to that crime. “And this is very disheartening, to say the least”
He warned that the police could not spare any traditional leader from facing the law for being involved in such malpractices.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) organised an awareness raising campaign with financial support from the Department for International Development (DfID) of the United Kingdom.
Association of People living with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) representative, Maynard Zacharia, took advantage of the rally to condemn some authorities who are allegedly side-lining persons with albinism in the implementation of social net programmes such as subsidised farm inputs and Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf IV) Public Works Programme.
Zacharia said the tendency has contributed to failure by persons with albinism to achieve food and nutrition security at household level.
“We wish to appeal to our chiefs and councillors to ensure persons with albinos are prioritised in the implementation of Fisp and public works programmes,” he asked.
Deputy Director of Disability Programmes at the Ministry of Gender, Children, the Elderly, Disability and Social Welfare, Felix Sapala, said social net programmes were designed to benefit the poor and that persons with albinism are among deserving beneficiaries.
Sapala asked Zomba District Council to ensure persons with albinism are benefitting from national programmes.
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