12 January 2017

Tanzania: JPM Rules Out Food Relief Plan

Photo: State House/Daily News
President John Magufuli greets Nyamikoma residents in Busega District on his way to Simiyu Region to open the newly-constructed 71-kilometre Bariadi-Lamadi Road.

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli has stated that the government won't release food aid to people facing famine. Instead, the he said, such people should work harder to earn money with which to buy food.

He issued the statement while addressing Simiyu residents during the occasion to open the 71.8km Ramadi-Bariadi road.

The President reassured Tanzanians that there is sufficient food at the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) warehouses. He termed reports in the media that suggest the country is facing hunger as "cheap politics".

"The government will not release relief food to anyone even those who are facing hunger; my focus is on improving social services and create better environment for industrialisations; let truth be told," said the President.

He also revealed that there are some businesspeople who have imported 25,000 tonnes of maize from Brazil, who are using the media to create false reports that there is hunger in order to be given the permit to sell the maize in the country.

The President vowed he won't succumb to pressure aimed at forcing him to allow the said businesspeople to sell their maize or to issue relief food. President Magufuli's statement comes as calls for the government to take action to prevent wananchi from dying of hunger continue to intensify from stakeholders.

Speaking in separate interviews with The Citizen several individuals called on the ministry responsible for agriculture to come out clean on the state of food in the country.

ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe said it was too disappointing that to date, the minister responsible for agriculture has said nothing about the status of food availability in the country.

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