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HH to blame for Mealie Meal crisis – UKA

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…as starvation looms in Zambia

21.03.24

We watched President Hakainde Hichilema on Tuesday, 19th March during what appeared like a ´special paid for´ appearance on CNN and BBC where he went on an international ´pity trip´ begging for international relief and blaming the looming hunger and starvation in Zambia on bad weather.

As United Kwacha Alliance(UKA), However, we want Zambians and the international community to know that we are in this unfortunate ‘starvation mode’ today due to poor planning and total systems failure by the Hichilema government NOT climate change, because:

1. Zambia would not have found itself in this embarrassing position of passing around the ´begging bowl´ for food from the international community if President Hichilema did not sell (export) the maize strategic reserves of 1.5 million metric tonnes.

2. The crop Mr Hichilema sold cheaply to our neighbouring countries and East Africa was grown over three farming seasons before he assumed office. It was reserved for a ‘proverbial rainy day’ like what we have right now.

3. Zambia would not be in this embarrassing food insufficient situation if President Hichilema had just listened to science and stakeholders that stated that Zambia and other countries in Southern African region would experience severe droughts. INSTEAD PRESIDENT HICHILEMA WENT IN ‘SELLING MODE’.

4. When stakeholders expressed concern about the selling of maize, Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri went before Parliament and opined that “We shall continue to export maize/mealie meal because we are food sufficient, we have enough maize.”

5. Official weather reports indicated that the rain pattern has shifted to the north. Instead of channeling resources to the north for a comparative maize and food harvest, Mr Hichilema seems to be in denial and thinks otherwise.

It was momentarily good to watch President Hichilema, normally a proud man, swallow his pride and declare the current drought a ´national disaster´ coming short of declaring a ´hunger disaster´.

However, we were dismayed to see his Chief Government Spokesman Mr. Cornelius Mweetwa stage a media trip to Southern province and paraded journalists before bags of maize and declare that “Zambia is food sufficient.”

In conclusion, we urge President Hichilema to accept responsibility that he acted irrationally when he exported maize to our neighbouring countries and East Africa at a low cost and will now start importing it at a HUGE cost.

Beyond acceptance, President Hichilema postulates that he is a man of integrity, UKA call for him to apologise and resign as Republican President for thrusting our people into poverty. He is not fit to be President.

President Hichilema must not mislead the international community with words like ‘climate change´ when it is pure personal failure to plan.

Sakwiba Sikota SC
Chairperson
United Kwacha Alliance
(UKA)

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