President Joyce Banda on Sunday reiterated that she will continue distributing maize and flour to people who lack the commodity in their homes.
The President was speaking at a press conference held at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on arrival from Uganda, where she had gone to attend a two-day 16th Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit for heads of state and government.
In response to a journalist who wanted to know whether or not the Malawi leader would continue with the programme of going across the country to donate maize and flour to some needy people, a system that has received criticism from some quarters including the faith community; Banda emphatically said it was necessary for her to continue with the programme.
Some people perceive the maize and flour distributing exercise by the Head of State as too costly.
“People should realize that many a big section of Malawians in the country have no food. As Head of State I have the responsibility to assist them. So far we have distributed maize to 40 centres in the country.
“The flour and maize that I am distributing is mine. And I appeal to people who have enough food in their homes to share with the needy,” President Banda said, adding that her plan of distributing the commodity will end in February 2013.
“As Head of State this opportunity enables me meet the electorate. I cannot stay without meeting people who voted for me,” she said.
President Banda however clarified that much of the work of distributing maize and flour is being done by some members of the Peoples Party and Cabinet.
“I want to clarify to the nation that I am not the only one distributing the commodity. Yesterday, Mr. Brown Mpinganjira of Peoples Party (PP) distributed maize at Nkando in Mulanje; last week Hon Sidik Mia who is also Minister of Works and Transport distributed maize in Chikhwawa district; two weeks ago Minister of Information and Civic education Mr. Moses Kunkuyu distributed some maize in Mbayani Blantyre; Mr. Samson Msosa an executive member of PP distributed maize and flour recently in Mangochi and many other people have done the work on my behalf. They will continue helping me.
“I want people to know that I get involved in the distribution exercise when I have to do some official work in an area; then I take the advantage. For example two weeks ago I had to distribute maize at Jali in Zomba, after I had attended Remembrance Day at Zomba Malawi Defence Force.
“I distributed maize in Chilimba, last week after I had officially inaugurated the Blood transfusion day at Lunzu. I have done the same in all the areas I was involved in donating maize and flour,” said Banda.