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Archive for the tag “Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa”

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.

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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

Supreme Court dismissial of the Election Petition No. 1. of Amama Mbabazi; As expected they would validate the votes for Mzee

Dolphines

Chief Justice (CJ) Bart Katureebe: “1st respondent (Museveni) was validly elected. This petition is dismissed. We make no orders for costs”.

It is not that I wanted to say this, but I had as little faith in the Ugandan Supreme Court as much the two dancing dolphins cares about Shakespeare or as much Donald Trump cares about his own integrity. Not much.

On the 30th March there been rumors and speculated that the Supreme Court Justices happened to visit the Entebbe Statehouse, the day before the Final Grand Judgement of the First Election Petition and the only one on the matter. Seems strange right? The day before in the middle of the process that the Supreme Court Judges ferries to the Executive or the President Museveni’s State House, Who happens to be the respondent or Defendant for the Electoral Process, is shipping the men to his hollow chambers the day before. Surely not for cooling chat with his loyal men, but securing the Power of his ruling power.

The Court case is supposed to be dismissed on the grounds of not valid evidence of bribing, pre-ticketing the ballots, re-writing the Candidates DR Forms from the Polling Stations, the later arrival of Polling Material, Discontinued or even dismissal of large amount of voters in Wakiso or Kampala, none of these evidence are credible or just mere rumors; barely mere speculations that cannot be the narrative of an election said to be credible by the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) who them all said they we’re “free and fair”; and since all of them came to that conclusion it has to be true!

Bart Katureebe

As I have been listening to the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, my thoughts of yesterday were actually true. They have only given in on some demands, but have no plans of annulment of the Presidential Elections, as the affidavits was usually not taken in and the statements of the incumbent was the ones that we’re valid. The blatant lies of the Public Officials not campaigning for the Executive, but on their own capacity seems to be another way of cleaning their hands instead of looking into it. For instance of Frank Tumbewaze was not the campaigning on his own accord, but to be there to spread the news of the NRM.

The whole Supreme Court had not seen evidence or reasons for the annulment of the Presidential Election and therefore handing the announcement of President Museveni his seventh term. I know it is officially his fifth, but that is another lie that the NRM-Regime. The Declaration of the Supreme Court dismissed the case. We can now the Electoral Commission has been validate and the justices have been served for the Executive, but not respecting the people and the actual votes.

I will discuss more when the Supreme Court Documents are actually leaked to the public and discuss the so called missing evidence and the reasons for the validating the elections. Proves that the visit at Entebbe State House have given way for the Court Justices or Judges to oversee the compliance of evidence.

Besigye Amama

Hon. Amama Mbabazi the Presidential Candidate have now gone through the same dismissial in the Supreme Court as Dr. Kizza Besigye twice had gotten dismissed. That the Chief Justice talks about Substantial or sufficient amounts of voters not respected their ballots.

So the NRM have maybe won through total intimidation and thieving the election as the Executive is making himself ready for the sworn-in-ceremony together with the loyal presidents from abroad. While the will only be hired crowds and guns on the street; not a legitimate celebration; as there hasn’t been any good public relation between the opposition and the continuation of the ruling-party.

NBS Presidential Election Petition 2016

“We are satisfied that the results used to declare Museveni winner were valid. The petitioner did not produce any evidence against this. We also found that there was non compliance but we are not satisfied that the non compliance affected the results announced”Chief Justice Bart Katureebe

The Executive proves he does not care about the integrity and honoring of the public will. As the Police have taken the opposition hostage and taken their votes away; now together with the Supreme Court ruling and dismissing of the elections. There been to many Electoral Frauds, the Supreme Court does not see merits, because their payed puppets of the ruling regime, and those who thought they would give a different verdict; have lived in an alternative world where the dancing dolphins rules the world. Something it is not.

There will be more to come… as I myself can read the documents and the affidavits, and the unproved allegations have been dismissed by the court; therefore the Court Ruling have dismissed the people and their will, the case for court as long as the NRM-Regime and their Electoral laws are there, they are mended and tailor-made for the Executive. Peace.   

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/

Various reactions to the Uganda Elections around the world; worth taking a look at!

VPN 18.02.2016 P2

If you think the Election Observer Monitoring teams had different views on the General Elections and Presidential Elections in Uganda. I have already dropped a few of the State Officials and Presidents who has congratulated President Museveni on his 5th Term. I will not repeat those as I put them on as to prove who is the friend of the man who is now unofficial president for the 7th term; first Russian,  Engel (House Member of Committee of Foreign Affairs, U.S.A.), President Kiir of South Sudan and Ivan Ssemwanga.

Gaba Kampala 18.02.2016 P1

Elliot Engel Statement:

“Since the people of Uganda went to the polls yesterday, I have been deeply concerned by the government’s decision to block social media sites and by reports of pre-marked ballots and inflated tallies in some of the voting stations. These are affronts to a free and fair electoral process. I am likewise dismayed by reports that presidential candidate Kizza Besigye was arrested and that the home of another candidate, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, was surrounded by security forces. I call upon both incumbent President Yoweri”.

Russian Foreign Ministry has said:

Moscow hails the successful general elections in the friendly Uganda, which have proved broad national support for the government’s course towards stable political and socio-economic development” (…)”noted a generally open and peaceful nature of the election campaign and the voting process and observed no serious violations that could affect the results of the popular vote” (RBTH, 2016).

Salva Kiir P2

President Salva Kiir sends message to President Museveni on WhatsApp:

““Congratulations Big brother…..I’ll always take your advice seriously….You are a man of experience” (…)”Are you still in Mbarara (cattle camp)?” (Osobi, 2016).

Celebrating the Victory of Museveni in South Africa:

“South Africa based Ugandan socialite Ivan Ssemwanga was the happiest when Museveni won the Presidential elections and started partying straight away. The Rich Gang boss shared with us a photo while drowning in booze in celebration of President Museveni’s victory” (Bigeye, 2016).

I think this here shows the difference reactions to it… As the American Official condemn the actions of Government, while the Russian friends of Uganda says it is a “Successful election” in their view so they have read the IGAD/EAC/COMESA statements and swallowed it whole as it fits the view of Moscow, Russia. While the friendship between South Sudan and Ugandan Presidents as they have helped each other now and then. Then you have a Ugandan in diaspora who is celebrating. That is enough for now. Peace.

COMESA wraps up Mission in Uganda – commends voters for ordely conduct

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Kampala, Saturday, 20 February 2016: COMESA Election Observer team to Uganda has completed its mission and commended voters for turning up in large numbers to exercise their constitutional right of choosing their leaders in the February 18, 2016 elections.

In a joint press briefing with the East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) election observer missions, Leader of COMESA Mission Ambassador Ashraf Gamal Rashed hailed the massive turnout in casting the ballots, and the orderly manner in which voters conducted themselves.

“The polling process was generally free, peaceful and transparent despite the logistical challenges that delayed the opening of polling stations,” Ambassador Rashed said.

The Mission made several recommendations to enhance the conduct of future electoral processes in Uganda. Among them is the need for the Electoral Commission to ensure better organization with regards to logistics such as marking of polling stations, preparation, distribution and delivery of polling materials.

It emphasized the need for a robust communication strategy that will ensure information is relayed in a timely manner from the EC to the polling stations to avoid misinterpretations and confusion that might arise due to delays.

“While noting the progress made to consolidate multi-party democracy, there is need for increased dialogue among political parties and other stakeholders to address any challenges and enhance the credibility of the electoral process and the acceptance of all parties of its outcome,” the mission leader said.

Further, he stated that the credibility and impartiality of the EC should always be maintained and urged the government to adequately provide funding should for the EC to enable it to execute its mandate effectively.

Amb. Rashed encouraged the citizens of Uganda to remain calm and address any electoral disputes that may arise through the proper legal channels.

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