PRESIDENT Michael Sata has assured cotton farmers in the country that Government will ensure that ginneries buy cotton at a reasonable price.
The President appealed to the farmers not to burn their cotton but keep it as Government was working with all players to come up with reasonable prices.
Mr Sata was speaking yesterday when he addressed a rally to drum up support for the Patriotic Front candidate in the Chama North parliamentary by-election, January Zimba.
He said the people of Chama District should not be cheated by opposition party leaders who were alleging that Government had failed to intervene in the cotton price impasse.
Cotton buyers are this year offering to buy the commodity at K1,600, but farmers are insisting that they could only sell at K3,200 per kilo- gramme, a price fixed in the last marketing season.
President Sata who addressed a huge gathering on a Tumbuka-Senga land, accused the MMD of destroying the Mulungushi Textiles in Kabwe.
"Government will ensure that all the cotton grown by farmers in Zambia and Malawi is bought in order to revamp the defunct Mulungushi Textiles," he said.
The President said it was sad that the MMD which failed to run Mulungushi were now cheating people that they wanted to revamp the cotton industry in the country.
President Sata who paraded the Parliamentary candidate, Mr Zimba, urged the aspiring candidate not to abandon the people once voted into office next Thursday.
"I fail to understand why it takes eight hours to reach Mpika and Chinsali from Chama district. I want you to work on the deplorable state of the roads once voted into power," he said.
The rally was attended by Muchinga Province Minister, Malozo Sichone, Northern Province Minister, Freedom Sikazwe, and Chama South Member of Parliament (MP), Effron Lungu.
Others were Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President who is also campaign manager, Edgar Lungu, Chinsali MP Christopher Mulenga and Northern Province Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba, among others.
The MMD have settled for Yotam Mtayachalo and UNIP have adopted Hebert Zimba to contest.
Apart from the parliamentary by-election, the remote constituency which is divided into 12 wards with 23,224 registered voters will also be conducting four wards by-elections.