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Lazarus Chakwera riles government over Admarc late maize buying

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Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Lazarus Chakwera, has angrily reacted to the late opening of Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), saying only vendors will benefit from this arrangement as subsistence farmers are selling maize at give-away prices.

But the government has hit back at Chakwera, saying he cannot speak good of the government because he is still smarting from the 2014 presidential election loss.

Chakwera made his statement at Mayani in Dedza on Saturday, when he addressed a political rally to campaign for Lameck Benson, Mayani Ward Local Government by-election candidate for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

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“This government has its policies upside down. The government released money to Admarc to buy maize from you, people, yet you had already sold the maize at K3, 000 per [50 kilogramme] bag. You will need at least eight, or more, bags of maize to buy fertiliser. This is too late, too little,” Chakwera said.

The MCP president told the people that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration was deliberately creating a food crisis in the country ahead of the election in 2019 so that Malawians should be kneeling before those in power to beg for food.

He accused the government of creating more poverty in the country than reducing it and of drastically lowering education standards, leaving many Malawians illiterate.

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“Malawians have all the reasons to vote this government out of power during the 2019 general election. This government takes Malawians for fools. Their time is up; they must go,” Chakwera said.

He also said those in power are systematically looting public coffers through theft and corruption.

He said this would not be the case once the MCP is voted back in power after 20 years in opposition.

“We will never betray the wishes of the people. We will ensure integrity and justice in the way we govern to ensure total transparency and accountability,” Chakwera said.

Turning to the October 17 by-elections, Chakwera said the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec), should ensure the poll is free, fair and credible.

“They [Mec] should not let their past bad image haunt them. They must show that they are changed by ensuring a free, fair and credible election. As MCP, we have put in place systems to seal all loopholes which led to vote rigging,” he said.

Government spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, laughed off Chakwera’s remarks.

“The issue of Admarc is straight forward; everyone knows the truth. He [Chakwera] should know that he will have an uphill battle to unseat the DPP. We will face the MCP in 2019 fair and square. Warn him he is yet to nurse the loss of 2019,” Dausi said.

Dausi, who is the government spokesperson, said the DPP-led government was sorting out all problems it inherited when it got into power in 2014.

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