Written by Dyson Kamwana:
The Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has on Wednesday commenced vigils at Parliament building in Lilongwe, forcing the government to table an emergency maize bill before the close of business Friday this week.
CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa told journalists that they want Parliament to pass the maize bill in order to reduce maize prices to K12, 000 per 50-kilogram bag of maize in the country.
The protesters are camping 100 meters away from the radius of the parliament as earlier advised by the Lilongwe District Council.
Namiwa said, “We want to see Malawians buying a 50-kilogram (Kg) bag of fertilizer at k12, 000 in all ADMARC depots across the country and not rationing the commodity”.
He said currently, Malawians are facing shortages of food, hence calling the Parliament to waive all relevant business to discuss the emergency maize issue, adding that if parliament does not address the matter, vigils will continue to unspecified dates.
Among others, Namiwa wants the government to use the mode of transportation used in ferrying ballot papers to ensure that the commodity is accessed in all hard-to-reach areas.
“We will also petition the Speaker and Leader of the House in Parliament on Thursday to ask for an extension of deliberations in order to tackle the maize bill”, added Namiwa.
On Friday last week, Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale said he will come with a detailed report regarding the transportation, pricing and areas earmarked for distribution of maize in ADMARC depots in the country.