South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri has appealed to private maize traders in the country to stop entertaining self-creation of hunger which is having impacting the economy.
Bashiri: I will continue to help with maize to those in need
The leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church made the statement on Monday in Sandton, South Africa, through a televised address aired on Zodiak, Times and Rainbow TV.
Bushiri said he made the statement after noting a serial rise of maize prices in the country.
In the past two weeks, the staple has seen the 50 kg bag soar from K7000 to K16 500.
In his statement, Bushiri challenged that there is no shortage of maize in Malawi, noting that the shortage is a deliberate creation by private traders who are hoarding the maize to sell it an expensive price during the lean season.
"In addition, maize prices will remain at a typical high, throughout the country due to influence by large purchases by traders and institutions immediately after the harvest as well as production shortfalls in neighboring countries."
He underlined that this hoarding of maize by private traders need to be challenged.
"The current price shock cannot be left unchecked if we are to overcome the challenge against food insecurity which contributes to acute poverty levels in Malawi.
"My main concerns are on the ripple effects the situation will bring on the already struggling economy, these are; but not limited to: One, Sharp rise in inflation which will in turn lead to influencing rising interest rates--something which will trigger weakening of the Malawi Kwacha against foreign currencies.
Such a move will graduate more Malawians into a vulnerable group. If not handled well, people may die of hunger because the state-owned ADMARC has limited capacity to service all vulnerable Malawians," he said.
Bushiri has since proposed that the solution lies with the reach of key market players. He has since called upon the Government, Developmental Partners, My fellow Religious Leaders, Human rights activists, The Business community, Farmers, Fellow Citizens, all relevant institutions and Patriotic Malawians to Join hands and say.
"I am informed that Government has called on Traders and Farmers who have maize, to sell to ADMARC at MK230-250 per kilogramme with a specific deadline.
"I will continue to directly help Malawians with free maize distribution under Shepherd Bushiri Foundation. However, should the traders fail to supply by the deadline, I am offering to source maize for the Government at the suggested prices. I trust that this action will help stabilize the market."