Hitches ranging from theft to destruction by pests have marred relief maize distribution in Mulanje District, denying some potential beneficiaries access to the grain.
The development has seen 84 households earmarked to receive the maize from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) being left out.
A report presented to a full council meeting on Monday by Mulanje District Council Agriculture Committee indicated that about 27 bags of maize went missing during distribution, 14 were destroyed by weevils and that a consignment was short by 43 bags.
The report also indicated that the 27 bags were stolen during the violence that erupted at Gambula during distribution exercise three weeks ago.
Following the report, Mulanje Bale member of Parliament (MP) Victor Musowa (Democratic progressive Party-DPP) requested the Council to set up a commission of enquiry to look into the matter.
“Every time the council is distributing items, we hear of these things. We need a commission of enquiry to look into this matter. Let us find out who stole from the needy so that they can be punished,” he said.
Mulanje District Council chairperson Isaac Blazio advised the committee to look into the matter and come up with a detailed report on how the maize was stolen and what happened to the 43 bags Dodma failed to deliver.
Mulanje South East legislator Naomi Kilekwa (DPP) also questioned the criteria used to select beneficiaries saying some villages in her constituency were left out whereas others had many beneficiaries.
About 20 804 bags of relief maize were supposed to be distributed in the district.