(Judge Mbadwa is hearing an application by Friends of the People, who want the Pest and Rodents Control Agency to regularise the eating of grasshoppers and rodents)
Judge Mbadwa: Order! Order! Order! I think the chairperson of Friends of the People has not finished his submission on why the Pest and Rodents Control Agency should regularise the eating of rodents and locusts. Mr Kudantani Mshasha, can you proceed?
Mshasha: My Lord, even though some of our colleagues are saying that Mapuya went overboard in encouraging people to eat locusts and mice because these are protected species, we believe the agency has no mandate to stop people from munching such delicacies.
My Lord, we submit that controlling mice and grasshoppers by using chemicals would be a waste of resources. Why use expensive chemicals to depopulate mice and grasshoppers when people can do the job? It is for this reason that we want to agree with Mapuya that citizens should be encouraged to be hunting for mice and locusts.
One good reason we should be eating mice and locusts is that these significantly threaten crops and pasture. By consuming the mice and locusts, My Lord, we will be averting hunger situations as crops would be protected in the fields while achieving conservation of nature at the same time.
Hasn’t everyone heard that Malawi is becoming a nation of stunted people? Even our national football team has been underperforming because the majority of our players are stunted and it is always difficult to know that a player is beyond his optimal level. My Lord, this is a good time for us to redeem ourselves. These delicacies are highly rich in protein, fat and minerals as shown by research.
I think it is time we supplemented our carbohydrates-rich nsima with mice and grasshoppers to improve the nutritional value of the country as a whole.
My Lord, more reason to eat locusts is the admission by Mapuya that hunger is ravaging this country hard; hence, his call to the people to diversify their diet. Do not believe what Jolijo Chapinda was telling people that there is enough maize to feed the nation. People should listen to their leaders and if Mapuya says we should eat rodents, who are we to say no? Thank you My Lord.
Mbadwa: I think the Pest and Rodents Control Agency were stopping the eating of mice and grasshoppers because they were worried that they will have no job once people start eating these delicacies en mass. They have no cause for worry because they will still be killing them to prevent outbreaks of plagues when the mice and grasshoppers are left uncontrolled. Mapuya’s order, however, should not let him to abdicate on his duty to ensure that there is enough maize in the country. This court does not make it mandatory for people to eat rodents as doing so would be infringing on various freedoms they espoused. This court, however, encourages the majority to try rodents and grasshoppers because the rate of stunting growth in the country has reached alarming levels, something that needs reversing. n