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Malawi: Government to distribute over 430,000 bags of maize to food-insecure households (22.09.2018)

The Government of Malawi, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), will from the month of September 2018, undertake a once-off maize distribution exercise targeting acute food-insecure households in 26 districts of the country, pending the final Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report and development of the 2018/2019 Food Insecurity Response Plan.

Speaking in Blantyre when he presided over the launch of the once-off distribution, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said a total of 432,729 bags of maize [21,636.5 tonnes] will be distributed to 432,729 food-insecure households in 26 districts of the country.

“Each food-insecure household will receive a 50kg bag of maize and this will be followed by the MVAC response,” said Mwanamvekha.

The once-off distribution comes after the country experienced prolonged dry spells and a severe outbreak of Fall Army Worms, which rendered many households food-insecure.

The relief maize will be distributed to households in Blantyre, Neno, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Mwanza, Machinga, Mangochi, Balaka, Zomba, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Karonga, Mzimba, Rumphi, Chitipa, Dowa, Mchinji, Kasungu, Ntchisi, Dedza, Ntcheu, Lilongwe, Nkhotakota and Salima.

Malawi: Banned entry of Malema and Chishimba, because the DPP fears the TA Conference!

That the Transformation Alliance are planning to become a Political Party seems to stressful for the Republic of Malawi. This can be said, since the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Hon. Grace Obama Chiumia ordered that two foreign speakers to a TA Conference we’re banned from the Republic. This is the Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba and the South African politician Julius Malema. TA must really upset the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the President Peter Mutharika, who is struggling in with the Cash-Gate and the Maize-Scandal, that has run the Republic.

The Malawian ruling party and President Mutharika must fear the possible TA becoming a single political party instead of a political pressure group. Since the pressure group has enough power to get two foreign high-level politicians to its conference. They would question the corruption and the problematic institutions lacking procedures to secure food storage. Just take a look!

BLANTYRE – Transformation Alliance (TA), a political pressure group, has announced that it has invited South African and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, and controversial Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba, to its first national conference end of August ahead of the 2019 elections” (…) “Chishimba is a darling to Malawians for being a whistle blower of the controversial maize deal between state grain trader, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, and private company Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd” (Kamanga, 2017).

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have threatened to take action to force the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pay back the money it received from councils and parastatals during the blue night fundraising dinner held at Kamuzu Palace. According to reports, DPP solicited money from Blantyre City Council (BCC), Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) totalling K13.5 million. Gift Trapence: The reports sparked anger among CSOs who demanded that DPP must pay back the money it got from the institutions” (…) “As Civil Society Organizations we are not going to allow having that impunity and we are warning the ruling party it will return that money come rain come sunshine,” said Trapence. He further urged President Peter Mutharika not to allow party members to be “insulting” the citizenry when they demand answers on issues of national interest” (Bisani, 2017).

Chakwera will join Julius Malema a well -known politician in South Africa, a firebrand agitator who is revered and disliked in equal measure as another speaker will be Zambia’s leader of United Party (UP), Saviour Chishimba and that he has already confirmed his attendance. TA spokesman, Leonard Chimbanga could not confirm or deny about Chakwera attending the conference late alone making a keynote address, but confirmed that the leader of opposition has been invited to attend the conference. “He has been invited since we share similar views on matters of national interests,” he said. Meanwhile, some officials within the alliance have told Nyasa Times that the pressure group is working on turning into a political party ahead of 2019 elections apart from working underground to forge an alliance with other political groupings including Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP)” (Malawi Voice Reporter, 2017).

Clearly, the Malawian government are afraid of the TA. They fear what the opposition pressure group TA can gain from this conference. That is why they have banned the Zambian politician UP Chishimba and South African EFF Malema is barred from entering the country. This proves the problems Malawi government has with it’s opposition. Peace.

Reference:

Bisani, Luke – ‘CSOs threaten demos over blue night donations’ (16.08.2017) link: https://malawi24.com/2017/08/16/csos-threaten-demos-blue-night-donations/

Kamanga, Penelope Paliani – ‘Malawi’s pressure group invites Malema and Zambia’s Chishimba’ (14.08.2017) link: https://southernafrican.news/2017/08/14/malawis-pressure-group-invites-malema-and-zambias-chishimba/

Malawi Voice Reporter – ‘Kunkuyu’s Transformation Alliance Party Teams-Up With MCP Ahead Of 2019 Polls’ (16.08.2017) link: http://www.malawivoice.com/kunkuyus-transformation-alliance-party-teams-up-with-mcp-ahead-of-2019-polls/

President Kenyatta orders that imports of Sugar and Milk Powder to be tariff free until August 2017, who in the Jubilee will eat the spoils?

President Uhuru Kenyatta finally found a solution to the rising the prices and inflation on basic foods. Therefore on the day there is 30,000 tons Sugar coming in at Mombasa this morning.

This after the first Executive Order of Kenyatta this year said: “That the drought and the famine in parts of Kenya is a national disaster, duty shall not be payable for the following items- 

(a) Sugar imported by any person, with effect from the date of Notice to the 31st August, 2017; and

(b) nine thousand tonnes of milk powder imported by milk processors, with the authority of the Kenya Dairy Board, with effect from the date of this Notice to the 31st August, 2017 Dated the 11th May 2017” (The Kenya Gazette, Vol. CXIX – No. 62, Nairobi, 12th May 2017).

So as this happens, you can wonder if the Sugar millers and Sugar exporters are connected with the government. Since the 30,000 tons just appear on the day after the gazette. That means, someone knew about the plans of the government and let it happen. It isn’t just appearing from the sky, that a holy angel sends 30,000 tons of sugar to Kenya and the Port of Mombasa on the day after the Executive Order was signed and than relieved to the public by Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Henry Rotich. He is just a useful CS, who certainly will have his pieces of deliverance of all the duty free goods.

That the government, close connections with the Jubilee government and the Sugar cartels will surely gain profits on these exported foods. This been in a country where the tariffs has been a 100% on Sugar and added VAT 16 %. Therefore, this reactions seem to be a ploy to earn monies on gullible people and think that the people will take it as goodwill. This is happening at the same time, as the prices on sugar is still on a two year low worldwide. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, might think the Kenyans doesn’t see through this. But they should question the companies, the boats and who orders the duty free goods to Kenya from today and until 31st August.

Like who earns the profits on the sugar and the milk powder in these months. They are clearly planning it and not only for the famine and drought. But for sole purpose of gaining massive amount of funds in the period of campaigning. This just appearing and ordered in the critical time. The Jubilee government doesn’t know how to be subtle. Can wonder if any of the corporations and importing businesses owned by the Kenyatta’s or Ruto’s would benefit from this. I wouldn’t be shocked, neither if anyone else of the Jubilee government got a payday and huge amount of Bob’s in their accounts. Peace.

The law: 

Kenya: At the moment, Sugar is not sweet for Jubilee!

The prices of Sugar in Kenya is special experiment, as the taxation on imports of sugar is a 100% and also 16% VAT on the sugar imported. Secondly, the industry is controlled by the state, there been talk of privatization of millers owned and the Kenya Sugar Board who regulate the industry. As well as the Ministry of Agriculture is making sure the output of the farmers are corrected.

Therefore, as the prices worldwide is sinking and going-low, the prices of sugar are going up. This is happening in the months right before election time.

The government must know the industry is struggling as the only private miller Mumias are again on a downward spiral:  Already, the miller has been closed for three months. According to managing director Errol Johnson the closure was meant to fix equipment, which had contributed to the company’s poor performance due to inconsistent maintenance. The closure from April 11 came barely a month after the cash-strapped miller received Sh239 million from the government, as part of the bailout strategy” (BiznaKenya, 2017).

That the Mumias miller proving the big-problems in the Sugar industry, as it has been evident for years. The agricultural output and yields haven’t been the issue alone, it is denial of the state to figure out working changes to the millers, the import and also control it has over it. That the government has the oversight and the insight to the issues, are clearly that the Jubilee haven’t been interested in-changing it, as the benefit of this system. Therefore, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto hasn’t touched it or done anything else than bailing out Mumias on the last dive of the company. Therefore, the reports shown here. Proves the initial factors to the grand issues and why the prices are sky-rocketing, while the international prices are falling. Take a look!

Barriers for Sugar Productions:

Sugar milling is a high fixed cost business requiring substantial economies of scale in cane crushed to break-even” (…) “Existing relationships of patronage between governments and large milling companies serve to align the incentives of government and millers such that new entrants would find it difficult to compete with incumbents and obtain the same benefits” (Chisanga, Gathiaka, Onyancha & Vilakazi, P: 12, 2014).

Government ownership in the sector remains large, despite higher relative efficiency in the private sector and long term plans for privatization. While some privatization has taken place over the past decade, government-controlled factories held a 37 percent production share, with additional non-controlling shares in other firms. Part of the argument in favor of privatization is the relative efficiency of production in private mills over those controlled by the government” (…) “The local sugar milling market is quite concentrated, and combined with the barriers to trade this suggests that the largest players have significant power over prices. Mumias, the largest sugar company, had a market share of 38 percent of domestically produced sugar in 2011, lower than its typical market share due to cane shortages. Combined with the government-controlled share of the industry, this implies that essentially two entities control at least 75 percent of local production. The shares of local producers in domestic market sales vary quite widely depending on the period, as the volume of imports fluctuates a great deal. For example, Kenya Sugar Board data from the first two quarters of 2012 show importswere approximately 33% of local production” (Argent & Begazo, P: 5-6, 2015).

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, a government (Jubilee) body, reports that 2.2 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have closed shop in kenya over the last five years. These are some of the reasons that inform our opposition to Jubilee. Personally, I think Uhuru and Ruto are fine Kenyans; wonderful husband to their spouses; incredible fathers to their children; and great benefactors to their elite friends, but have terribly failed in the duties of the office of the presidency” (…) “All sectors of Kenyan economy has been negatively affected by the floods of cheap imports, brought into kenya by unscrupulous businessmen connected to those in power, having unbridled freedom to import anything of their choice without paying taxes: From sugar industry; to textile; to agriculture, denying kenya the much needed revenue for development. Over the weekends, the leaders behave like Frank Lucas, donating part of the proceeds from these imports to the same societies they are killing by giving out these import certificates” (Sadat, 2017).

That the government haven’t made sure the industry and financial markets been sufficient is proven with the macro problems in Kenya. The import sanctions together with the stronghold control of certain millers and Kenya Sugar Board, there are patronage and cartels that sets the prices and the payments for the yields. Together with the storage and cane production that is initial to the issues that are there today. That President Kenyatta and DP Ruto hasn’t taken charge and paid amends is the reason for the prices at this point. That the Sugar Barons, Sugar Cartels and Sugar Companies are connected with government is understood as the politicians are taking handouts from them as well.

As the COFEK open letter to Kenyatta said so well and I will end with:

No one in your government can categorically state how much stocks are being held in the strategic grain reserves. Casual talk of wanting quality of the same maize, from the millers lobby, heightens speculation that your government is unwilling to walk the talk on cutting the cost of living. As things stand, it is fair to say that your Government has taken a holiday on consumer protection as cartels take over the all-important food security sector. It follows that your government, is therefore, in breach of Article 46 of the Constitution you swore to protect. Needless to mention, it is a tall order for you to protect and uphold the sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the people of Kenya if they remain hungry – with a single or no meal at all, thanks to the high cost of living. Your government supposedly offers huge subsidies to farmers through farm inputs like fertilizers which do not get to them. It’s the middlemen and cartels who end up smiling to the bank as farmers toil in vain” (COFEK, 2017).

Peace.

Reference:

Argent, Jonathan & Begazo, Tania – ‘Competition in Kenyan Markets and Its Impact on Income and Poverty – A Case Study on Sugar and Maize’ (January 2015)

BiznaKenya – ‘Mumias Sugar to close indefinitely over cash problems’ (08.05.2017) link:https://biznakenya.com/mumias-sugar-close-indefinitely-cash-problems/

Chisanga, Brian; Gathiaka, John; Nguruse, George; Onyancha, Stellah & Vilakazi, Thando – ‘Competition in the regional sugar sector: the case of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia – Draft paper for presentation at pre-ICN conference, (22 April 2014)

Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) – ‘Cofek open letter to Uhuru Kenyatta on high cost of living’ (02.05.2017) link: http://www.cofek.co.ke/index.php/news-and-media/1718-cofek-open-letter-to-uhuru-kenyatta-on-high-cost-of-living?showall=&start=1

Sadat, Anwar – ‘REVEALED: WHY The ECONOMY is Almost COLLAPSING Under Uhuru Jubilee Regime, GoK’s Kenya Bureau of STATISTICS Exposes Shocking Numbers’ (07.05.2017) link: https://www.kenya-today.com/opinion/revealed-economy-almost-collapsing-uhuru-jubilee-regime-government-body-kenya-bureau-statistics-exposes-shocking-numbers

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Begins Unprecedented Emergency Food Relief Operation in Drought-Hit Malawi (20.07.2016)

Maize Malawi

Malawi is one of the countries in southern Africa worst affected by El Niño-related drought.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 20, 2016 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun a new round of life-saving relief operations in Malawi where as many as 6.5 million people – nearly 40 percent of the population – may require emergency assistance in coming months. This is set to become the largest ever emergency food relief operation in the country’s history.

Malawi is one of the countries in southern Africa worst affected by El Niño-related drought. Its food security crisis is not only due to this year’s unprecedented drought but to the impact of severe flooding and prolonged dry spells last year.

Across southern Africa, as many as 18 million people will require emergency assistance in El Niño affected countries between now and March, with needs peaking in January. Of these, WFP is planning to reach 11.9 million people with food assistance. Malawi is one of half a dozen nations in the region which has declared drought-related disasters in recent months.

Malawi’s already strained food security situation is worsening following the most recent harvest which suffered widespread failure, particularly in the south. Some 80 percent of the affected people are smallholder farmers who rely on what they can produce to feed themselves and their families. This is a country with high levels of stunting – low growth for age – as a result of malnutrition, as well as high rates of HIV/AIDS infections and related deaths which have left many orphans and child-headed households.

“This is a dire situation, one that the world needs to take notice of right now before it’s too late”, said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin who today concluded a three-day visit to Malawi. “I’ve talked with women in rural areas who told me they have enough food for just a few more weeks, after which they will have nothing. We must urgently assist the people of Malawi and those affected by the drought in neighbouring countries, before food insecurity spirals into hunger and starvation.”.

WFP concluded its last round of food and cash-based relief in Malawi in April. Seasonal relief for the poorest and most vulnerable is normally offered between January and March at the height of the lean season – that period preceding the harvest during which domestic food stocks become increasingly depleted.

Following floods and drought last year, WFP responded to needs during the last lean season as early as October.  This year, however, emergency relief is starting now – that is because the lean season has already begun in many districts or is soon to start in others. The number of people currently in need in Malawi is two and a half times higher than last year, already a bad year.

For part of her visit, Ms. Cousin travelled with Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States, who has been visiting Malawi as part of a three-nation African tour focusing on economic empowerment and educational opportunities for women and girls, and on partnerships on global health and food security.

Dr. Biden and Ms. Cousin together visited a primary school in Zomba district where students receive WFP school meals which are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. They met farmers whose harvests have suffered badly because of the drought. The WFP Executive Director also met Vice President Saulos Chilima and other government officials.

It’s very important that we save lives in emergency situations.” said Cousin. “But it’s also vital to offer people hope and opportunities so that they’re better able to withstand shocks and cope for themselves in the future. That’s why we’re working with government and other partners including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on programmes like school meals and support for smallholder farmers – these are initiatives that change lives in the long-term.”

WFP’s regional funding requirements for the most drought-affected countries from now until April next year is US$ 535 million; US$217 million of this is required to cover Malawi’s needs alone. There is a particularly urgent need for funding for Malawi to ensure that food stocks can be procured, transported and pre-positioned before seasonal rains start in November, making many roads in remote areas impassable.

Press Statement: Malawi – Result of the 2016 Food Security Assessment (10.06.2016)

Malawi June 2016 P1Malawi June 2016 P2

A look into the Maize-shortage in Malawi; As the Government reaction seems slow and reactionary; instead of well prepared; while the hiking of the price and running out at ADMARC storage sounds suspect; Malawian Gov. has questions to answer to their people!

Maize Malawi

This here will be about something simple as Maize, but not any maize as this is staple food. Malawi has had a rocky road when it comes to politics. This here about the agricultural economic structure that is fundamental for socio-economic stability, in an economy where the currency is losing value quickly. The sentiment and the government don’t seem honest in their approach and the opposition is addressing it, but not listen to. That is not something that is a new situation as governments tries to distance themselves from the opposition, but at this point it is a about something key to society as food security to its citizens.

What I don’t seem to understand how the President Mutharika can talk about having a decent economy to buy needed maize, while the economy is stagnating, and the Admarc cannot have given honest numbers of storage as the depleting. While the reports of selling stocks unlawfully and getting the maize prices higher and steady inflation on the price, while at one point promising to buy in Maize due to lack of stock, while the Zambian Authorities saying they have stopped exporting. Then even later telling the people that they are buying from Tanzania instead; that shows that the Government might have used the days between the “Zambian” import to facilitate the Tanzanian buying, while that is direct lying to the public about the general action from the government. The second is saying the government having the money while the funding from it comes from United Kingdom and U.S. to buy the maize. The U.S. gives through the United Nations World Food Program in the country, while the UK gave it more directly to the Malawian government. But before I go to deep, read and see if you get any clarity!

Peter Mutharika-2

Background on the Maize shortage:

The President on the 3rd February:

“Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday failed to clear the mist over the availability of the maize in the country following reports that the country’s sole grain marketer, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) is running short supply” (…)”My repeated assurance to you that no one shall die of hunger. Based on the assessed requirements of maize and quantities of maize that we have bought, there should have been enough maize in Admarc depots to cater for everyone’s needs” (…)”Admarc, meanwhile, will continue to replenish the maize stocks. In addition, we have additional money to buy more maize if needed” added Mutharika” (Nkawihe, 2016).

Same day release of the economic situation in Malawi:

“Since May 2012, upon devaluation, the Kwacha has lost value by 338 percent from MK169 against US Dollar as currently the local currency is trading at around MK720 against US Dollar” (…)”In a press statement released over the weekend signed by RBM Governor Charles Chuka which is also available to The Maravi Post, the central bank is optimistic of getting the Kwacha back despite its continue slippage against international foreign exchange” (…)”“Malawians would recall, the exchange rate misalignment was so serious that the country had very limited foreign exchange reserves and accumulated huge external payments arrears (estimated to be in excess of US$600 million) held by both Government and the private sector. This created persistent and wide spread shortages of fuel and other critical imports. Indeed, the exchange rate misalignment diverted foreign exchange transactions to the parallel or black market. Prior to the devaluation the official exchange rate was K169/US$ compared to over K250/US$ in the parallel market” (…)“Kwacha depreciation is hurting low-income earners and is creating undue uncertainty in the business community. It is however misleading to portray a collapse of the economy. Despite the debilitating exogenous shocks, the Kwacha has performed relatively better than in other countries when they also floated their currencies in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Malawi continues to pay for its international obligations and foreign exchange reserves have never been better, especially taking in to account the loss of donor direct budget support. Fiscal and monetary policy coordination has been strong despite daunting fiscal pressures”, concludes the central bank statement” (Mb’Wana, 2016).

Chakwera

Days later the opposition question on slashing of the budget:

“The 2015/16 approved budget was initially pegged at K929.7 billion, but is now down to K906 billion with recurrent budget reduced by just over K17.1 billion and the development budget slashed by K5.6 billion” (…)”Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera reacting to the revised budget, told Nyasa Times that his party is eagerly waiting to hear from the government why instead of increasing the budget to buy maize for people who are suffering with hunger and medicine from public hospitals they have resorted to cutting the budget at this critical time” (…)”Apart from food crisis, shortage of medicine in public hospitals, Jooma said the budget was expected to rise due to the fall of kwacha as the approved budget of K929.7 billion was done when the kwacha was at K450 to one dollar and currently it is selling at 700 which means in actual sense the budget is all below what was needed and to cut it further it will continue squeeze poor Malawians” (Nkhoma, 2016).

The President on day the after:

“In a national on the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television on Thursday, President Mutharika said it had come to his government’s attention that some officers in ADMARC depots are conniving with vendors to buy and sell maize that has been subsidized” (…)”He also appealed to the police to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring to book those who will be guilty of such a malpractice” (APA, 2016).

CSO on the Maize shortage:

“Currently, Government has blamed vendors for the sloppy management at ADMARC which is assuring in a way that Government wants accountability. However, should venders really be part of the blame equation? Isn’t it ADMARC itself that opened its doors at the said odd hours to sell the maize? The Mpherembe ADMARC Depot alleged assault case reported in the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday, 16 February 2016 page 8, perfectly reveals the purported rot in ADMARC” (…)”Sourcing of maize from neighboring countries is very important because it will cut on transportation costs. As such, Governmnet must be applauded for this. However, it is also important to highlight that these neighboring countries are equally affected by el nino but yet have surplus to sell to Malawi” (Mkandawire, 2016).

malawi10bx

What Malawi Revenue Authority said to the public on the 11th February 2016:

“Its LEGAL to import maize flour into Malawi BUT it is ILLEGAL to smuggle the commodity. Get an import permit for free from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. You may not even pay duty if you have a COMESA Certificate” (Malawi Revenue Authority, 11.02.2016).

On the 20th February – this happen:

“Government spokesman and Minister of Information, Jappie Mhango claimed there is 60,000 metric tonnes of maize in her grain reserves, enough to feed the nation.” (..)”The delegates booed President Peter Mutharika’s chief adviser on economic affairs Collins Magalasi throughout his contribution as he tried to defend the food situation and authenticate statistics on available maize which he said was enough to feed starving Malawians” (…)“In total we have 50 500 metric tonnes [MT] of maize which has not been released to the people… People have decided to mislead themselves and this is about the maize that we are talking about, this maize is more than what we need,” said Magalasi” (…)”In  his presentation titled ‘Importance of agriculture to development’,  Cisanet’s National Coordinator,  Tamani Nkhono-Mvula  said: “It’s a pity that government is telling us that it has 60 000 metric tonnes of maize in grain reserves but an inside source has informed me that there is only 2000 metric tonnes” (Chilunga, 2016).

Zambia Maize

On the 25th February – Question on the import from Zambia:

“Member of Parliament for Rumphi East who is also opposition People’s Party (PP) third Vice President Kamlepo Kalua has written a letter requesting Malawi President Peter Mutharika to come to Parliament to clarify government claims to have procured maize for Malawians” (…)”He says Zambia has banned exportation of maize to Malawi and Zambia’s Agriculture minister has confirmed the ban” (Auzeni, 2016).

On the 29th Februar – Opposition rally discussing the matter:

“A joint rally in Lilongwe by opposition parties, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Peoples Party and the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has openly dressed down Malawi President, Peter Mutharika as an ‘irresponsible leader’ who they claim does not care about the country” (…)”Chakwera said: ” We do have issues that show responsibility. Look at the hunger and the economic crisis. It’s a mockery to Malawians that despite scarcity of maize in Admarc depots, persistent power back out , water problems , shortage of medicine in public hospitals, rising prices of good, economic hardship Malawians are facing , Mutharika can boldly stand and say he has no problems” (…) ”We are all feeling the hunger together with the Malawians. Its unfortunate that he (Mutharika) does not see and know theres hunger in the country” said Chihana” (…)”The sentiments were made during the rally at Kalambo School Ground which the parties labeled as a solidarity on Sunday, as led by MCP leader, Lazarous Chakwera PP acting Vice Presdent, Kamlepo Kalua and Aford President Enoch Chihana” (Malawi Times, 29.02.2016).

Malawi Maze shortage ques at Storage depot

On the 29th February the first trucks arriving:

“Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe In Parliament: “Treasury has empowered ADMARC to procure another large consignment of 50,000 metric tons of maize from Tanzania. As we see it, we have and will have enough maize in stock that will be more than enough to satisfy ADMARC markets in the coming days” (…) “On the hunger situation, Gondwe says government has everything under control. “Just yesterday some 44 large trucks full of maize crossed our borders into Malawi” (Malawi Voice, 2016).

“About 70 trucks importing maize that government has bought through Admarc have spent more than two weeks at Mwami border in Zambia waiting for clearance from authorities. However, forty-four trucks carrying 500 metric tons arrived in the country on Friday” (…)”Admarc Chief Executive Officer, Foster Mulumbe, assured the nation that the process of  importing all the 30,000 metric tonnes of maize would take two weeks.“This was actually planned, well in advance by government. When you look at the tonnage that is coming, it’s 30,000 metric tonnes. That’s not the tonnage we need currently. We have actually started stockpiling for the coming season. If we are talking about what parliament is saying, they have made their assertion barely 12 hours ago we wouldn’t have been able go through the whole process and have the maize start arriving in Malawi now,” Mulumbe said” (McDonald, 2016).

On the 3rd March – Statement by CAMA:

“In a statement signed by its Executive Director John Kapito, Cama said government does not need to spend forex on importation of maize when there is already enough maize in the country” (…)“Cama is shocked that the Malawi government is importing maize at a time when we all know that there is a lot of maize in the country which is being held by private traders in various warehouses throughout the country” (…) “What is more annoying is that the private traders are hoarding the maize and demanding higher prices that range from K300 to K350 per kilogramme when they purchased such maize from poor Malawians at K60 per kilogramme. And we are aware that the private traders are intending to export the maize to satisfy their greed at a time when Malawians are dying of hunger,” Kapito said” (…)”Government announced that it would purchase 30,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia to avert the current food crisis”(Chitsulo, 2016).

29.02.2016 Newspaper Malawi

On the 3rd March – Statement from President Mutharika:

“I publicly appealed to our Development Partners to help us with additional food and other resources so that we can supplement our own local maize supplies to fight the pending hunger. The aim was to ensure that we should cover everyone who would need food support. I want to thank those friends who came forward and helped us, such as the WFP and others” (…)”Most sadly, I have been told that there is critical shortage of maize at many ADMARC depots. I am further informed that some ADMARC officials are conniving together with some criminal maize vendors, who buy ADMARC maize at night and sell it to poor Malawians elsewhere at very exorbitant prices. In some places poor Malawians are forced to buy this maize at Fifteen Thousand kwacha per 50kg bag, because they cannot find maize at ADMARC. Consequently some of them are now starving” (…)”I also want to appeal to all decent Malawians to examine their moral conscience and reflect deeply. I have repeatedly talked about patriotism, hard work and integrity. Because of hard work and careful planning, my government bought this maize through ADMARC at much higher costs for you to buy only at Five Thousand Five Hundred Kwacha (MK5,500) per 50kg. In effect, these thieves are therefore stealing this maize from you” (Mana Online – Malawi News Agency, 03.03.2016).

Reports today on 4.3.2016:

Production:

“Talks are in progress between the treasury and two major agro-processing companies to seal an agreement for maize production in Malawi” (Capital FM Malawi, 04.03.2016).

Import:

“While commending government for suspending import license requirements on importation of maize flour, traders in the industry are still calling on government to introduce a duty waiver on the commodity” (The Daily Times Malawi, 04.03.2016).

Admarc logo

Here is the continuation on the matter:

One Voice:

“Bill Mayaya, one of the organisers of the peaceful march said it a Republican Constitutional right for all the Malawians, regardless of their standing in society to have access to food. “We want to show the government that we are not satisfied with their explanations. People will continue dying of hunger and hunger related diseases” he said” (Khamula, 2016).

Second Voice:

“Bishop for Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church Martin Mtumbuka has said the church is disappointed and concerned with the way many Malawians are suffering because they do not have food and has since called on government which claims to have maize to make it available to the people” (…) “I think that government of Malawi pays people who have solutions to that. So, I do not want to be doing their job by suggesting what they should be doing. All I would like to stress is we were told there is maize, let the maize be made available to the people. And we would also want to say may be the best way is also to stop blaming each other. I don’t want to enter into blame game but the key issue is that people should have the maize,” he said” (Mmana, 2016).

Third Voice:

“The Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) has asked government to order private traders to release maize to the public and break the vicious cycle of hoarding the grain for anticipated inflated prices” (…)”Kapito claimed in a statement made available to Nyasa Times on Tuesday that private traders are hoarding the maize and demanding higher prices that range from K300 to K350 per kilogram, when they purchased such maize from poor Malawians at K60 per kilogram” (…)”Government must order all traders that are hoarding the maize to release it onto the market immediately. Government must recommend the selling price for such maize, knowing fully that it had recommended the buying price of maize from the farmers after harvest” says the statement (…)”The survey was carried out on January 30. 2016. “Most Agro Traders have the commodity but are not willing sale to Admarc or Government due to the fluctuation and instability of the local currency” reads the report in part” (…)”In terms of tonnage – as of January 30 – Pride Produce had 9,000 tonnes; Export Trading 89,000 tonnes, K U Distributors 70,000 tonnes while Trans-Globe had 40,000 tonnes of Maize” (Simutowe, 2016).

fertiliser-subsidy-reforms-and-maize-in-malawi-4-638

How the Government can afford to import maize:

The United States yesterday gave Malawi $27 million (K20 billion) in response to the food shortage that has affected about 2.8 million Malawians. The development brings America’s total contribution to humanitarian response to $ 55 million (about K41 billion) which represents about 44 percent of the K 92.7 billion the country needed to provide monthly food or cash ration to startling population between October last year and April 2016” (Mkandawire, 2016).

How the Government can afford to import maize Part II:

“The UK’s Department for International Development announced today that it is stepping up its humanitarian support to the southern African country, which with today’s announcement will total £14.5m since October 2015” (…)”International development minister Nick Hurd said providing support is not only “hugely important to African people” but also in the UK’s national interest” (…)”The announcement came as the World Food Programme appealed for $38m as the situation in Malawi worsens and the UN agency’s funds wane” (Rumney, 2016).

Zambian export of maize too Malawi saga:

“ZAMBIA suspended maize exports to Zimbabwe and Malawi last week to help build reserves in light of a looming El Nino-induced drought, local grain importers confirmed last Friday” (…)”The suspension has affected Zimbabwe and Malawi local grain importers who are now battling to import in about 150 000 tonnes of maize”(Afriem, 2016).

“Malawi has procured an additional 10,000 metric tonnes of maize grain from neighbouring Zambia that will be distributed to various Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) depots in the country to feed people up to April.Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister Allan Chiyembekeza told journalists in the capital Lilongwe on Tuesday” (APA, 2016).

admarck Llongwe

Afterthought:

As you see with certainty and certainly more to this story than what has been released and happen behind closed doors; I wonder also about how the storage components got empty and that the Admarc can’t control the amount of maize. That is what is worrying and the authorities can’t have a open trade with investors and companies who keeps maize already in storage, as the 30th January reports showed. The issue is that the Government of Malawi has told certain things and Government of Zambia told another, therefore ended up importing from Tanzania and not Zambia, as the time went by and still did not discuss the trade between the companies storing the local produced maize. That was bugs me as seeing the pictures of ques to Admarc storages to get little maize to themselves.

The questioning of the response from the Government and the ability to fulfil the necessary food security in the country; that is justified to ask as the President Mutharika defends and claim that Admarc stealing maize flour and selling it. That might be true to some extent, but still they could not take the whole amount of tonnes over night without any questions. Then if so, wouldn’t the government get reports and receipts, or some paperwork. That explains why the deliverance and due diligence on the work the government outfit has done. So if they stole the whole thing and was baffled thieving. Then the Government should arrest certain king-pens in the system and address the loss to get back the earned silver-coins by the thieves. Since that is not happening and the trades of the maize is rising, the prices spiking while the farmers getting less of a price from the government buying scheme. This shows some industry insiders earning on the spiked prices and getting extra cash for the same product as before the issue of struggling storage of maize flour in the country.

But the government claims at one point to have the cash be able to buy more if needed. While they really need donor funding to do so and get the UK and U.S. to drop their tax money and sending maize to Malawi. While the economy looks bleak by what the already reports is showing. This here is showing some arrogance from the government when they now the numbers and the reports of the storage. As the where are arrogant while they had to know the Zambian governments actions on their behalf. That is so hoping that people who are in a dire situation and hope that nobody is questioning it. Well, I hope they do and also get the government to answer for this as they have been left short by the shortage of the maize and the dwindling economy. Two aspects that is well fitted together and shows certain mismanagement from central government down to the citizens; and it is the citizens that pays the huge price and also the higher price of the maize flour as a cost of the actions that has happen recently. Peace.

Reference:

Afriem – ‘ZAMBIA SUSPENDS MAIZE EXPORTS TO ZIM AND MALAWI, NO MAIZE SOLD TO MALAWI’ (16.02.2016) link: http://www.afriem.org/2016/02/zambia-suspends-maize-exports-to-zim-and-malawi-no-maize-sold-to-malawi/

APA – ‘Subsidized maize not for sale, Mutharika warns Malawi dealers’ (04.02.2016) link: http://en.starafrica.com/news/subsidized-maize-not-for-sale-mutharika-warns-malawi-dealers.html

APA – ‘Malawi procures additional maize from Zambia’ (17.02.2016) link: http://en.starafrica.com/news/malawi-procures-additional-maize-from-zambia.html

Auzeni, PA Anzanu – ‘KAMLEPO PENS MUTHARIKA TO APPEAR BEFORE PARLIAMENT’ (25.02.2016) link: http://www.faceofmalawi.com/2016/02/kamlepo-pens-mutharika-to-appear-before-parliament/

Chilunga, Zawadi – ‘DPP ‘IN DENIAL’ SAYS KABWILA: MAGALASI BOOED AT ‘FUTURE OF MALAWI’ PAC CONFERENCE’ (20.02.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/02/20/dpp-in-denial-says-kabwila-magalasi-booed-at-future-of-malawi-pac-conference/

Chitsulo, Moses – ‘Cama wants government to act on maize traders’ (03.03.2016) link: http://www.times.mw/cama-wants-government-to-act-on-maize-traders/

Khamula, Owen – ‘Malawi Protests over food shortage, economic woes March 10’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/03/02/malawi-protests-over-food-shortage-economic-woes-march-10/comment-page-1/

Malawi Voice – ‘Treasury Empowers Admarc To Procure 50,000 Metric Tons Of Maize From Tanzania’ (26.02.2016) link: http://malawivoice.com/treasury-empowers-admarc-to-procure-50000-metric-tons-of-maize-from-tanzania/

Mb’Wana, Lloyd – ‘RESERVE BANK ASSURES MALAWI’S KWACHA STABILIZATION AMID PRICES OF GOODS AND SERVICES SOURING’ (03.02.2016) link: http://www.maravipost.com/business/economy/10387-reserve-bank-assures-malawi%E2%80%99s-kwacha-stabilization-amid-prices-of-goods-and-services-souring.html

McDonald Thom – ‘44 maize trucks arrive in Malawi’ (29.02.2016) link: http://www.times.mw/44-maize-trucks-arrive-in-malawi/

Mkandawire, Lucky – ‘US Give Malawi K20bn to buy maize’ (01.03.2016) link: http://mwnation.com/us-gives-malawi-k20bn-to-buy-maize/

Mkandawire, MacBain – ‘Maize shortage and the prevailing economic situation’ (19.02.2016) link: http://www.congoma.mw/2016/02/19/maize-shortage-and-the-prevailing-economic-situation/

Mmana, Deogratias – ‘GIVE MALAWIANS MAIZE—BISHOP MTUMBUKA’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.times.mw/give-malawians-maize-bishop-mtumbuka/

Nkawihe, Maurice – ‘Mutharika admits Malawi citizens starving: Fails to clear air on maize security’ (04.02.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/02/04/mutharika-admits-malawi-citizens-starving-fails-to-clear-air-on-maize-scarcity/

Nkhoma, Mphatso – ‘MALAWI OPPOSITION SCEPTICAL WITH REVISED BUDGET’ (27.02.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/02/27/malawi-opposition-sceptical-with-revised-budget/

Rumney, Emma – ‘DFID increases food aid to Malawi’ (17.02.2016) link: http://www.publicfinanceinternational.org/news/2016/02/dfid-increases-food-aid-malawi

Simutowe, Yamikani – ‘Kapito says private traders should release maize: Asks Malawi government to issue order’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/03/02/kapito-says-private-traders-should-release-maize-asks-malawi-government-to-issue-order/

Press Release: Africa Faces the Challenge of Sustaining Growth amid Weak Global Conditions (05.10.2015)

SAP WB

WASHINGTON, October 5, 2015— Sub-Saharan Africa countries are continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace, due to a more challenging economic environment. Growth will slow in 2015 to 3.7 percent from 4.6 percent in 2014, reaching the lowest growth rate since 2009, according to new World Bank projections.

These latest figures are outlined in the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, the twice-yearly analysis of economic trends and the latest data on the continent. The 2015 forecast remains below the robust 6.5 percent growth in GDP which the region sustained in 2003-2008, and drags below the 4.5 percent growth following the global financial crisis in 2009-2014. Overall, growth in the region is projected to pick up to 4.4 percent in 2016, and further strengthen to 4.8 percent in 2017.

Sharp drops in the price of oil and other commodities have brought on the recent weakness in growth. Other external factors such as China’s economic slowdown and tightening global financial conditions weigh on Africa’s economic performance, according to Africa’s Pulse. Compounding these factors, bottlenecks in supplying electricity in many African countries hampered economic growth in 2015.

“The end of the commodity super-cycle poses an opportunity for African countries to reinvigorate their reform efforts and thereby transform their economies and diversify sources of growth. Implementing the right policies to boost agricultural productivity, and reduce electricity costs while expanding access, will improve competitiveness and support the growth of light manufacturing,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa.

According to Africa’s Pulse, several countries are continuing to post robust growth. Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania are expected to sustain growth at around 7 percent or more per year in 2015-17, spurred by investments in energy and transport, consumer spending and investment in the natural resources sector.

Gains in Poverty Reduction

Africa’s Pulse found that progress in reducing income poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has been occurring faster than previously thought. According to World Bank estimates poverty in Africa declined from 56 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012. At the same time, Africa’s population saw progress in all dimensions of well-being, particularly in health (maternal mortality, under-5 mortality) and primary school enrollment, where the gender gap shrank.

Yet African countries continue to face a stubbornly high birth rate, which has limited the impact of the past two decades of sustained economic growth on reducing the overall number of poor. Countries still lag behind those in other regions in making progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). For example, Africa will not meet the MDG of halving the share of population living in poverty between 1990 and 2015.

Weaker Commodity Prices

Sub-Saharan Africa’s rich natural resources have made it a net exporter of fuel, minerals and metals, and agricultural commodities. These commodities account for nearly three-fourths of the region’s goods exports. Robust supplies and lower global demand have accounted for the decline of commodity prices across the board. For instance, the drop in the prices of natural gas, iron ore, and coffee exceeded 25 percent since June 2014, according to the report.

Africa’s Pulse notes that overall decline in growth in the region is nuanced and the factors hampering growth vary among countries. In the region’s commodity exporters—especially oil-producers such as Angola, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria, as well as producers of minerals and metals such as Botswana and Mauritania, the drop in prices is negatively affecting growth. In Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia, domestic factors such as electricity supply constraints are further stemming growth. In Burundi and South Sudan threats from political instability and social tensions are taking an economic and social toll.

Fiscal deficits across the region are now larger than they were at the onset of the global financial crisis, the report finds. Rising wage bills and lower revenues, especially among oil-producers, led to a widening of fiscal deficits. In some countries, the deficit was driven by large infrastructure expenditures. Reflecting the widening fiscal deficits in the region, government debt continued to rise in many countries. While debt-to-GDP ratios appear to be manageable in most countries, a few countries are seeing a worrisome jump in this ratio.

The dramatic, ongoing drop in commodity prices has put pressure on rising fiscal deficits, adding to the challenge in countries with depleted policy buffers,” says Punam Chuhan-Pole, Acting Chief Economist, World Bank Africa and the report’s author. “To withstand new shocks, governments in the region should improve the efficiency of public expenditures, such as prioritizing key investments, and strengthen tax administration to create fiscal space in their budgets.”

Moving Forward

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will be repeatedly tested as new shocks occur in the global economic environment, underscoring the need for Governments to embark on structural reforms to alleviate domestic impediments to growth, the report notes. Investments in new energy capacity, attention to drought and its effects on hydropower, reform of state-owned distribution companies, and renewed focus on encouraging private investment will help build resiliency in the power sector. Governments can boost revenues through taxes and improved tax compliance. Complementing these efforts, governments can improve the efficiency of public expenditures to create fiscal space in their budget.

Kenyan reactions to the proposed Kenyan-Ugandan Sugar-Agreement: Is it a sweet cup of tea or is it something else?

UhuruandRuto

Kenyan opposition has reacted to the talks about importing sugar from Uganda to Kenya and recharging the trades over the borders. This is after the talks that been between Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Uganda recently. Here will go through the statements from CORD (Coalition of Reforms and Democracy), ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) and JUBILEE. Also other main actors in the Sugar industry in Kenya, also main numbers for one of the factories called Mumias Sugar Company, which has had issues in the recent year.

To put a little history into this and surely forgotten near history is:

“A public spat over when 200 000 tons of duty-free sugar should be imported from the Common Market for East and Southern African (Comesa) bloc to forestall a sugar shortage in Kenya has exposed potential economic sabotage by members of the ruling party” (…) “On February 9, the board’s chief executive, Andrew Otieno Oloo, wrote a letter to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission and the National Security Intelligence Services accusing the ministers of attempting to execute fraudulent deals. Otieno said the sugar crisis had been orchestrated to trigger a price increase for the commodity” (…) “Two weeks ago, presidential aspirants Raila Odinga, William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, Najib Balala and Kalonzo Musyoka — all from the opposition — also took the government to task over the delayed sugar imports and said the scheme was intended to create an artificial scarcity aimed at raising prices” (…) “The imported Comesa sugar would have stabilised sugar prices, which have already increased by more than 100%, to $2 from less than $1 a kilogram in October last year. The issue boiled over last December when Kimunya declined to expedite the government gazette notice, making it impossible for the sugar board and the Kenya Revenue Authority to set a date for traders to start importing the sugar” (…) “The scandal has further tarnished Kibaki’s image as he struggles to recover from a series of similar scandals that cost the taxpayer more than $100million between 2003, when he came to power, and 2004, when the details of the theft of public resources began to emerge” (…) “Kenya’s sugar needs are 800Â 000 tons per annum. It produces 600Â 000 tons and the remaining 200 000-ton deficit is bridged with imports from Comesa” (Kwayera, 2007).

Footage from KTN NEWS:

Footage from Kenya Citizen TV:

Amina Mohammed said today: “emphatically that the Uganda sugar deal has been blown out of proportion, with the main agenda of the visit totally forgotten” (…) ”That the only matter agreed upon was the establishment of an East Africa Sugar Board to protect Kenya’s sugar and ensure that what is being exported and imported is not from anywhere else apart from the region” (Kulundu, 2015).

The basic information quote on the sugar trade between Kenya and Uganda from the Joint Communique that came out the 10th of August from the Statehouse of Entebbe and the Republic of Uganda:

“President Museveni noted that Kenya exports to Uganda are estimated at $700 million compared to imports worth $180 million, and commended President Kenyatta for implementing initiatives that would contribute to bridging the trade gap. The two Heads of State observed that bilateral trade has potential to grow further and reaffirmed their commitment to the free movement of goods, Labour and services, including the elimination of all trade barriers” (Joint Communique, 2015)

Musailia Mudavadi has said the agreement has killed the goodwill of the 1sh billion bailout of Mumias Sugar Company. Statement on the 14th of August Mudavadi said: “Kenyans need to know what measures the government has taken to prevent unscrupulous importation of sugar from outside the Comesa protocol and channeling it through Uganda to circumvent the regulations under the Rules of Origin principles” (…) “There is a classic example of re-packaging Brazilian sugar and dumping it in the Kenyan market” (…) “The excuse of ‘balancing trade between our sister countries’ should not be used to enter into pacts that undermine local production” (…) “”It cannot be that his Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed says there is no agreement while the President defends the alleged agreement. Is there a pact or not? This contradiction needs correcting” (Ochieng, 2015).

TV-Deal Kenya-Uganda

What the ODM fear about the Sugar deal with Uganda:

“Kenya has arrived at that stage. There is clear evidence that we are dealing with a mafia regime in which individuals are pursuing personal interests in the name and the expense of the nation” (…) “The end game is to turn Kenyans into beggars who rely on the generosity of the thieves who will come to our aid through harambees and the other acts of alleged philanthropy” (…) “That is the story of Sugar. The same sugar, imported by government officials is, financing Al Shabaab who recently killed hundreds of university students in Garisssa, most of whom were from Western Kenya” (…) “In Western Kenya, they have attacked sugarcane in a double prolonged strategy. First, they will kill the factories. Next they will buy the factories” (…) “We have asked the president to explain to us how this deal helps the sugarcane farmers” (…) “We have asked the president to explain how this deal will help our industries prepare for the end of COMESA sugar protection period”(…) “Yes Kenyan Sugar is expensive. But it feeds the Kenyan farmers and it educated the children of sugarcane farmers. Yes Ugandan sugar is cheap. But it only feeds Uganda farmers and their children. No nation ever developed by abandoning its products” (…) “Buy Mumias Sugar, Sony Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar and build the country” (Kulundu, 2015).

Cord Statement on sugar deal:

“Sugar production is vital to the economies of Bungoma, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Migori, Narok and Kwale. There are 11 sugar factories in Kenya. Allowing the dumping of sugar in Kenya will devastate the economies of a quarter of the Counties of Kenya and a huge section of the rural agricultural population. This is economic sabotage on a grand scale. Grand Economic Sabotage is a crime. It is treasonable” (…) “  TWO MAFIAS? ONE IN KENYA ANOTHER IN UGANDA: The matter is urgent because of the statistics that Uganda does not produce a sugar surplus to be exported to fill Kenya’s supposed deficit allegedly of 200,000 tonnes. The model we fear is going to be used was last seen in 2008. Back then Hon. Kahinda OTAFIRE a close ally of President Museveni and a former head of Uganda’s intelligence service who is currently Uganda’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, got embroiled in a civil suit involving KSh. 50,000,000 (fifty million) worth of sugar that came into Mombasa from Dubai already in packed in Mumias Sugar Factory packets! It was meant to be dumped in the Kenyan market. Mumias Sugar Factory got involved in the case and two years later the sugar consignment was destroyed. We are headed in the same direction! It seems that a Kenyan mafia has conspired with a Ugandan one to profit from corruption that will serve only to impoverish Kenyans” (Kenya-Today, 2015).

Jubilee Statement:

“All CORD and its leader, Raila Odinga have done so far is to point fingers, cast blame, misinform, and compound the despondency already weighing down the sugar growing community” (…) “Mr. Ruto was appointed Minister for Agriculture, farmers were being paid a paltery KES 2500 per tonne of cane delivered to the factories. Because of interventions under Mr. Ruto’s leadership, including the cancellation of sugar permits of know sugar cartels, barons and brokers” (…) “It is well-establish matter of public record that Mr. Ruto bravely confronted sugar importation and smuggling cartels which dumped cheap sugar in the market, short-changing hardworking farmers” (…) “It is a fact that this threat to the monopoly and liquidity of sugar barons affected Mr. Odinga’s personal interests, leading to the unfortunate removal of Mr. Ruto from the Ministry of Agriculture. It is also a fact that Mr. Odinga has been inert bystander at best, or a conspirator of sugar, cartels as the farmers of Western Kenya and Nyanza suffered” (…) “Mr. Odinga has finally confessed that he owes the poor sugar cane farmers of Mumias hundreds of millions of shillings which he casually terms a commercial loans” (…) “Why did Mr. Odinga obtain this so-called commercial loan from poor peasant farmers instead of a approaching a commercial bank whose business it is to lend money?” (…) “We demand from Mr. Odinga and companies associated with him full disclosure of how much they owe Chemlil, Nzoia, Muhoroni, South Nyanza and other millers” (…) “Mr. Odinga is proposing to visit the people of Western Kenya, whom he owes money, his rallies will essentially be a meeting with his creditors. We sincerely hope that aside from cheap politics and empty rethoric, Mr. Odinga will present to the people of Western Kenya a credible repayment plan, outlining how he and companies associated with him intend to repay the money owed, to enable the peasant farmers take their children to school” (InLiveNews, 2015).

mumiassugar

More to the story:

“William Ruto has called Raila Odinga “Lord of Poverty” while Odinga has fired back to Ruto calling him “High Priest of Corruption”. Majority leader Aden Duale says “All CORD and its leader, Raila have done is to point fingers, cast blame, misinform and compound the despondency already weighing down the sugar growing community” (…) Mr Duale also says “after the move, payment for sugarcane farmers shot from Sh2,500 to Sh3,800 a tonne and only went down after Mr. Ruto was sacked” (Jodie, 2015).

William Ruto has continued to say online: “Sugar cartels used PM’s office to orchestrate my removal because Gazette notice 3977 I signed cancelled their licences ending their schemes” (…) “While in western (essentially meeting with creditors) aside from rhetoric, I hope Cord presents a credible repayment plan of admitted debts” (…) “how that my friend Tinga (Raila) admits owing peasant cane farmers millions can he explain why he didn’t take this “commercial loan” from a bank?” (…)“Under what circumstances did Mr Odinga and companies associated with him contract a debt of such magnitude with poor innocent farmers?” (Jodie, 2015).

Kiprono Kittony commented to the media: “Importation is not meant to weaken the economy rather it serves to help bring development and collaboration between countries. Politics will not increase sugar” (…) “Most of the sugar companies in Uganda are private, that’s why they are able to produce more and better sugar than us. The Government should do the same and privatize our companies” (Mr. Kittony is the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry), (NairobiToday, 2015).

The former Presidential Campaign Manager for Raila Odinga, Mr. Eliud Owalo has said this about the Mumias scandal: “Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has been accused of systematically running down Mumias Sugar Company during his tenure as the Managing Director of the giant Sugar Miller. He was not MD of Mumias by virtue of being the Governor of Nairobi, and he must therefore be ready to bear responsibility as to costs and consequences of the same without dragging the Party into it” (…) “It does not help the Party cause to continue clinging onto Kidero in the face of serious allegations of graft at Mumias Sugar Company to the detriment of the people of Western Kenya whose single largest source of livelihood is now at stake.The Party risks losing its crucial Western support base by being seen to be protective of Kidero who has crippled the economy of the Western region, yet he is equally known to be one of the most disloyal members of the Party. Embarasingly, the Nairobi County Governer is heavily implicated in wanton land grabbing reminiscent of the Nyayo era yet both ODM and the CORD Coalition has maintained a studious silence on the same simply because it’s our own Governor is at the engine and otho-centre of the land scams” (Nairobi Forum, 2015).

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko also spoke his peace: “I wish to table some audio clips and unfortunately it will not go down well with some people who will lose some confidence in me but for the sake of development of Nairobi County, allow me to table them” (…) “Peposi Freight Kenya Ltd was registered on December 23, 2014 and the next day opened an account at Cooperative Bank, City Hall branch. Sh7.6 million was wired from the Nairobi County Government for services never delivered” (Nairobi Forum, 2015).

Claims of bribes to seal a nice report:

“Drama started when two MPs claimed 20 members who signed the final report complied after a probe on Mumias Sugar Company had received a total of Sh64 Million to expunge some names from the report. The debate comes as the committee is embroiled in an allegations taking bribes to doctor the report over importation of sugar that contributed to crippling of the Mumias Sugar Company” (…) “The allegation and counter-allegation came after Washiali and Fred Outa (Nyando) claimed the MPs, including Committee chair, had received sh4m bribe to shared among 22 members who signed the altered report. Noor is being accused of reiciving the money after Lugari MP Ayub Savula, at a past committee, claimed a cheque from a local bank had been deposited into the chairman’s account” (…) “Washiali said further: “We have a feeling the Sh4m affected the outcome of the report. I know money was deposited into your (Noor) account that made you alter the report. This is the matter of life or death. Tell us who also benefited from it. We will not allow you to take advantage of our people” (…) “Washiali also took on Kimei, claiming he had hinted to him that a further Sh100m was being prepared for members to ensure they come up with “good report” (IGNITEKE, 2015).

mumias2

Backdrop on Mumias fall and the numbers before the bailout:

It mentioned in the stories. I had started to write a few months ago on this. So this is just the backbone of a article. So here is a draft of numbers and information of the company that got bailed out during the year after terrible economic issues that it had. This here is a little basic and also far from digging through what I had at the time. But this is just a sidepiece to the quotes that are on the Kenyan-Uganda Sugar and trading deal between the countries after the state visit of Uhuru Kenyatta in Uganda around 10-11th of August 2015.

So enjoy the little information on Mumias Sugar Company: 

Emis they described Mumias Sugar Company Ltd as this:”Mumias Sugar Company Limited is a Kenya-based company engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of sugar and the production of electricity. It manufactures molasses for industrial users, traders, farmers and individual purchasers” (…) “The Company also produces power through burning of baggasse, a waste product from sugarcane processing” (EMIS – Securities).

The important tales from the annual report of 2014 tells dangerous story. First with Mr. Ameyo describe the matter of the company and sugar industry got hit because of that. This starts with the unexpected low yield of sugarcane from the sugar-belt in Western-Kenya. Part of the operation issues was getting good quality cane.  Year of 2014 was the production of Sugar went up by 14%. The Ethanol production from last fiscal year went up 210%. Molasses production went down because quality of the sugar-cane the downturn in production was total of 21%. This resulted in less export of electricity. All of this with also the higher price on production cost went up 18% (Ameyo, 2014).

COTU press release on the Mumias:

“Mumias Sugar Company limited is facing imminent closure soon if the kshs.1Billion promised to the Sugar Company by the government is not effected immediately and the closure will result into the eventual collapse of the Sugar Firm” (…) “he Western Region requesting government offices to intervene and ensure that Mumias Sugar firm does not collapse because such action will lead to over 500,000 families across the country losing their source of livelihood besides the millions of people that depend on the firm both directly and indirectly in the Western Kenya and outside” (…) “At the same time, COTU (K)’s concerns are informed by similar promises by the government that lead to the collapse of Pan Paper Mills in Webuye and we are sure that soon after the collapse of Mumias Sugar firm, Nzoia Sugar Company will be on live and this will no doubt be the worst raw deal that the Kenyan people would have received from its government and it will be an uphill tasks for anybody to revive these plants” (…) “Thousands of workers now at Mumias Sugar Company are at risk of losing their jobs as do other workers within the production and distribution chain and the Kenyan economy will be worst hit at the closure of Mumias Sugar Company” (COTU, 2015).

Certain people owning Mumias money by June of 2015: 

“Otifier Logistics is the highest debtor owing Mumias Sugar Company 36.6 million shillings followed by Spectre International Limited which is associated with the Odinga family that has a debt of 33.9 million shillings” (…) “Otifier Logistics that owes Mumias Sugar Company 36.6 million shillings. Second is Spectre International Limited, a company associated with the Odinga family which owes Mumias Sugar 33.9 million shillings for molasses bought from the miller” (…) “Uchumi Supermarkets also features on the list owing the sugar miller 6.6 million shillings for sugar” (…) “Ukwala Supermarket, Nairobi with a debt of 2.8 million and Yatin Supermarket that owes the miller 319,320 shillings” (…) “Unilever Kenya is also listed as having a debt of 2.2 million shillings” (…) “Mumias Sugar says it is owed a total of 241 million shillings by several companies and individuals” (The Uchaguzi, 2015).

Youth from the Mumias Sugar Belt have alleged that the driving force in “reconciliation” of Senator Bonny Khalwale and Governor Evans Kidero is a 50 million prize money being dangled to abort justice:

“All of us victims of the plunder of Mumias Sugar Company, by a powerful politically connected Cartel, are very alarmed at emerging information that corrupt, evil underground maneuvers are underway to kill off the ongoing clamor, for justice and retribution, by elected leaders and wananchi in the Mumias Sugar belt and Western Kenya in General” (…) “the main target is Kakamega Senator Dr. Bonny Khalwale alongside dozens of other vocal leaders both on the ground in Western and here in Nairobi. We are alarmed that a section of top political leaders, are the chief architects of this heinous betrayal of poor sugarcane farmers and are hiding behind what they call “RECONCILING Dr. Khalwale and Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero” (…) “Governor Oparanya’s loud silence, his ruthless attacks against Kakamega County Assembly Majority leader Cleophas Malala and others whenever they publicly condemn the looting of Mumias and his recent fraudulent dolling out of Sh. 200 million to Mumias instead of calling for the thieves who fleeced the Company to return the loot, confirms our worst fears that the ODM top leadership is complicit in the Mumias Scandal and hence their efforts to intervene are a cover up, which we reject” (…) “Apart from Governor Oparanya, CORD Principal Raila Odinga has been admitting on several Vernacular FM stations that his Company is one of the many debtors who  owe Mumias Sugar Company a lot of money. Initially he blamed it on the bank that gave his firm  some credit facility to buy Molasses from Mumias. Then when the people are expecting him to lead by example by promptly paying the debt, he popped up in a funeral mass in Kakamega last weekend and denied owing Mumias. That double speak tells a lot. He thinks people have short memories such that he can just play around with their problems” (…) “Dr. Khalwale and other targeted Luhyia leaders should know that accepting to back down from the campaign for the punishment of those who destroyed Mumias and accepting to be given financial inducement will be the biggest betrayal of our farmers and the entire Luhyia Community. The only compromise we can agree is a total refund to Mumias Sugar, full payment for farmers’ cane deliveries that are in arrears for the past several years and  key suspects in the looting to organize a public repentance and apology by all the thieves” (The Gazette Daily, 2015).

And the final numbers from the End of Year and Financial Statement from the Mumias Sugar Company:

Year: 2012 2013 2014
Total Assets

(shs ‘000)

27,400,113 27,281,993 23,563,086
Total Equity and liability (shs ‘000) 27,400,113 27,281,993 23,563,086
Cash & Cash Equivalents at the end of Year (940,281) (1,356,124)
Total Loss (1,455,096) (2,740,685)

(Ameyo, 2014)

TV Kenyatta Odinga

Afterthought:

This has been a long enough blog/article for the internet. But its sure sweet with details and sure Raila Odinga doesn’t come out of this well. Because the table is turned on him since he went after Uhuru Kenyatta and he has borrowed money from the company that recently got saved by the government. An because of the scandal of Mumias Sugar Company I had already a lot of documentation before the Uganda-Kenya import deal that was supposed to happen and be ready after the 10th August 2015. Since that Raila Odinga, the CORD and ODM went bananas and wanted to have a upraising in the Western Kenya where the Sugarcane famers that supply the Mumias Sugar Company reside and where the farmers earn their living deliver the cane to the factory with mills it. Though the economy and corruption of the company has come to the surface and tells that something is not right. And if there are personal connections for Odinga and need extra the sugar mills, as it seems there are reasons to doubt the real political plan of Odinga. As Ruto and Kenyatta has bailed out Mumias and might have signed or gotten to a level of planning to open the borders for sugar and commodities as the ‘Joint Communique’ tells. There is certainties that of  “President Museveni noted that Kenya exports to Uganda are estimated at $700 million compared to imports worth $180 million, and commended President Kenyatta for implementing initiatives that would contribute to bridging the trade gap” (Joint Communique, 2015). Which tells the story in general that there will be more trading from Uganda to Kenya, and at the same time will also open the borders more from the Kenyan side.

This has sure not been the cup of tea that the Kenyan Government and the President Uhuru Kenyatta wished to see after being for a visit in Uganda earlier this month. Secondly after bailing out of Mumias Sugar Company should seem like the trading agreement with Uganda shouldn’t spoil that, even if they can import Ugandan Sugar, for the simple sense, the Kenyan community might get more easily sell products in Uganda as well. I doubt that the deal and agreement will be a one-way traffic train between the nations. Then its Raila Odinga who isn’t drinking, but the coastal drink of Mnazi. And with the information I get, I miss a lot of leads and structures. I wish I had more rough numbers and actual facts then hearsay and statements from the parties. With the scandals and probes proves that their certainties of some conspiracy, but where it might lead is scary in Kenya, therefore we haven’t been to bottom of it, or that the Mumias Sugar Company and Sugar Cartel has the hold of politicians so they won’t speak, because they getting behind keeping their mouth shut. An Raila Odinga is in debt to the Sugar Company together with other big shots! While the Government and Jubilee want support in Western Kenya so they support Mumias Sugar Company because of the farmers it feed. While this Sugar agreement and import option set it at risk, but that will also be for all the other millers that grind sugar in the Country! But if you want to be good neighbors and trade, you got to import and export produce between them. Which I think is something Uhuru Kenyatta understands and might think in his mind that is a possibility to continue to grow the Kenyan economy. In the end might not be wrong and give an edge to both countries. Not just sugar in the tea that there is in the talks for now, but everything else as well in time after there been an issue with the chickens and Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, and the fisheries and fishing industry for both countries!

Peace!

Reference:

Ameyo, Dan – ‘Mumias Sugar Company Limited – Annual Report and Financial Statements’ (30.06.2014)

COTU – ‘imminent closure of Mumias Sugar Company’ (06.06.2015) link:

http://cotu-kenya.org/imminent-closure-of-mumias-sugar-company/

IGNITEKE – ‘MPs in a bitter row over Sh60m sugar bribe’ (18.03.2015) link: http://ignitekenya.com/mps-in-bitter-row-over-sh60m-sugar-bribe/

Joint Communique Issued During the State Visit by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya (10.08.2015) – 10th August, Entebbe, Uganda, Released by the Republic of Uganda

Jodie, Vanessa – ‘Raila fired me because I cancelled sugar barons’ licences, claims Ruto’ (19.08.2015) link: http://www.hero.co.ke/raila-fired-cancelled-sugar-barons-licences-claims-ruto/

Kenya Forum – ‘ELIUD OWALO CALLS FOR KIDERO AND ABABU TO BE KICKED OUT OF ODM’ (10.03.2015) link: http://www.kenyaforum.net/2015/03/10/eliud-owalo-calls-for-kidero-and-ababu-to-be-kicked-out-of-odm/

Kenya Today – ‘Raila takes Uhuru SUGAR ‘WAR’ to Ground Zero, CORD to hold RALLIES in the SUGAR BELT’ (18.08.2015) link: http://www.kenya-today.com/politics/raila-takes-uhuru-sugar-war-ground-zero-cord-to-hold-rallies-in-the-sugar-belt

Kulundu, Mary – ‘Amina Mohammed: Let Me Put This Matter To Rest’ (19.08.2015) link: http://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/amina-mohammed-let-me-put-matter-rest

Kwayera, Juma – ‘Sugar scam stirs slush fund fears’ (05.03.2007) link: http://mg.co.za/article/2007-03-05-sugar-scam-stirs-slush-fund-fears

Mumias Sugar Company Limited (Kenya) – link: http://www.securities.com/php/company-profile/KE/Mumias_Sugar_Company_Limited_en_2129630.html

NairobiToday – ‘Shock As Experts Now Abandon Raila Odinga Over His Selfish Political Gains & Uganda Sugar Deal Rhetoric’ (20.08.2015) link: http://www.nairobitoday.co.ke/2015/08/20/shock-as-experts-now-abandon-raila-odinga-over-his-selfish-political-gains-uganda-sugar-deal-rhetoric/

Ochieng, Justus – ‘Kenya: Sugar Deal Ruins Mumias Goodwill, Says Mudavadi’ (15.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508150312.html

Statement by the Orange Democratic Movement – KENYANS TO FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVELIHOOD (18.08.2015) link: http://www.kenyan-post.com/2015/08/odm-exposes-ruto-and-uhurus-brookside.html

The Gazette Weekly – ‘Youth allege 50m in Senator Bonny Khalwale and Governor Evans Kidero truce talks’ (02.08.2015) link: http://kakamega411.com/5434/youth-allege-50m-in-senator-bonny-khalwale-and-governor-evans-kidero-truce-talks/

The Uchaguzi – ‘Mumias Sugar says it’s owed shs.241m by several companies and individuals’ (25.06.2015) link: http://uchaguzi.co.ke/mumias-sugar-says-its-owed-shs-241m-by-several-companies-and-individuals/

InLiveNews – Statement from Jubilee – ‘Statement in the interest of the truth for the sake of sugar farmer’ (18.08.2015) link: http://www.inlivenews.com/188807/a-statement-from-uhuru-rutos-jubilee-exposes-raila-odinga-badly-read-it-here/

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