High Court in the northern Malawi city of Mzuzu has ordered government to include 45 traditional leaders and their deserving subjects on a list of this yearâ€™s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) beneficiaries.
According to an affidavit signed by one of the chiefs, the villages surrounding the northern part of the city up to Dunduzu Roadblock along the Karonga M1 Road were excluded from the programme because the villages were part of Mzuzu following an extension of the city and introduction of block leaders in the areas.
â€œI and my people plus other 44 village heads and their people have been receiving coupons for purchasing Malawi Government subsidised farm inputs, namely fertiliser and seeds, until the farming season of years 2010/2011 when an official from the office of the respondent orally told us we would not be entitled to the farm input subsidy,â€ reads the affidavit.
Granting the injunction and leave to move for judicial review on Thursday, Judge Dingiswayo Madise ordered government to include the chiefs and the needy who are supposed to benefit from the programme in the 2012/2013 season.
The court has since ordered the applicants to file interpartes summons for continuation of the injunction within seven days from Thursday so that the hearing of the said summons be held within 14 days.
Speaking after getting the injunction, lawyer for the chiefs George Kadzipatike said governmentâ€™s decision to exclude the people was uncalled for considering that they are needy and were in the area regarded as villagers before the extension.
â€œThe decision to exclude the people was procedurally improper, unreasonable, unlawful and unconstitutional. It does not make sense to exclude the people who have been beneficiaries of the programme all this while because the city has been extended,â€ said Kadzipatike.