Political pressure group Transformation Alliance (TA) has asked government to reduce the price of maize from K12 500 per 50 kilogramme (kg) bag to a maximum of K10 000 per bag, the price most private traders are selling the staple food.
The alliance says it has made the proposal following revelations that government sourced locally the maize that State-produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) is selling.
Initially, government said the price of maize had to be raised from K5 500 per 50 kg bag to K12 500 because Admarc borrowed money to buy the maize from Zambia.
TA interim chairperson Moses Kunkuyu said this in Blantyre yesterday during a media briefing where the alliance, among others, called on President Peter Mutharika to change his approach towards corruption and other social ills facing the country.
“We demand a sensible explanation from the authorities on the real factors that pushed the maize price in the country. The [explanation] that the maize price was necessitated by the fact that funds used to procure it were borrowed does not hold water because the maize that Admarc is selling at the moment was not bought using borrowed funds.
“So, if the maize was not bought using any borrowed funds, it means the money used is the same as that used by a vendor to procure the maize. Now if the vendor is selling at K10 000, why should Admarc kill people and sell at K12 500? Why should private traders love Malawians more than government?” he said.
On corruption, Kunkuyu described President Mutharika’s stance as mere lip service that will drag the country several steps backward. He said Mutharika has not shown genuine passion to curb the vice that has flourished in most public institutions.
In October last year, Mutharika directed Admarc to increase the price of maize from K5 500 per 50 kg bag to K12 500, representing a 127 percent increase.
The price increase was in response to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who urged government to be careful on subsidising maize in the country.