Reports of de-humanising treatment of Malawians buying maize at Mzimba depot of Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has pushed government to make a commitment towards opening more selling points.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango on Monday the depot amid reports of beatings and corruption when selling the maize.
In an interview monitored on State-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Mhango confirmed the abuses.
“On Christmas Day, it was alleged in one newspaper that officials subject Malawians who come to buy maize to inhumane conditions. Interviews with the people out there show security personnel at times manhandle them,” he said.
Mhango said management at the depot confirmed that the beating was a desperate attempt to maintain order at the depot which attracts many people.
As a way of correcting the situation, the minister said an agreement has been reached with Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza to open more satellite depots in the district.
Mzimba South Civil Society Network (Mzisonet) chairperson Jones Moyo welcomed the minister’s visit.
“We hope it will shake up the system. We will keep monitoring to see if it brings any improvement in respect of people’s right to food,” he said.
About 215 000 people in Mzimba are facing food shortage due to prolonged dry spells.
They are reportedly allowed to buy no more than 20 kilogrammes of maize on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.n