Police stop maize traders from petitioning Parliament
Police in Lilongwe Wednesday blocked over 200 maize traders on their way to deliver a petition to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture about the National Food Reserve Agency’s (NFRA) decision to stop buying maize from them two months after waiting to sale their maize
However, instead of allowing the traders to proceed to Parliament, the police, who stopped the traders at Kapani in Kanengo along the M1 Road, reached a compromise with them and agreed to allow five representatives to proceed to Parliament.
According to the traders, NFRA had told them that the money that was meant to be used to buy their maize was given to Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), as such, the agency can no longer continue buying maize.
They argued that NFRA confirmed that they would purchase the maize from about 300 traders but on Tuesday, officials from the agency told them that they would only buy from 78 traders.
“We wanted to go to Parliament to deriver our problems to Members of Parliament. Preferably, we wanted to meet the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture but we have been stopped by police as they say we did not follow the right procedures. We have been told that only five people should go,” said one of the traders Henry Chakunda.
He said there is a new list of traders which NFRA has come up with, of people whose maize will be purchased contrary to the one which was issued two months ago.
NFRA Chief Executive Officer Nasinuku Saukira could not be reached yesterday for the agency’s reaction to the concerns.
Later in the day, some of the traders managed to get to Parliament to deliver the petition to Malunga.
Malunga said: “We are doing our best to resolve the matter. We think they have a point.”
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