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.

โ€œPeople 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.

โ€œThe 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,โ€ President Banda said, adding that her plan of distributing the commodity will end in February 2013.

โ€œAs Head of State this opportunity enables me meet the electorate. I cannot stay without meeting people who voted for me,โ€ 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.

โ€œI 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.

โ€œI 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.

โ€œI 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,โ€ said Banda.

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