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Government warns chiefs against favouritism



Government has warned traditional leaders in the country against favouring certain sections of society in the selection of beneficiaries of the food aid set to be given out during the lean period.

Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani, was speaking on the side-lines of a political party rally which he addressed together with his Transport counterpart Ralph Jooma at Matawale Primary School in Zomba Nsondole Constituency.

Botomani admitted that there are some duty-bearers, particularly traditional leaders, who are involved in corruption when selecting beneficiaries for relief items.

He said the government has put in place a comprehensive plan to respond to about 1.1 million Malawians who the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report says will not be able to have food between November this year and March next year.

“Government has put in place items with which to support the people and we cannot have duty-bearers who are messing up the exercise through corruption. The relief items need to go towards people who are affected regardless of their political affiliations,” he said.

Traditional Authority Nkagula appealed to the government to consider increasing the number of beneficiaries, saying food shortage has affected more than those who were identified during the Mvac exercise.

“We appreciate that the government will support people affected by hunger; however, we could have loved if you could have assessed our areas again because a lot of people have already exhausted the food which they harvested this year,” he said.

The Mvac report, which was released earlier this month, indicated that more than one million Malawians will be food insecure during the lean period, a sharp drop from last year’s situation where more than three million faced acute food shortage.

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