The opposition FDD has described agriculture Minister Given Lubinda as a failed project who should be fired for failing to run the agriculture sector of the country.
Speaking in an interview FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said Mr Lubinda has continued giving Zambians statistics of the commodity when what they need is affordable mealies meal.
“The persistent shortage of mealie meal and escalating prices of the commodity poses a serious national security challenge that needs immediate government intervention. I’m speaking to you from Chipata and I can tell you right now that if you go to Shoprite Chipata you will not find even a single bag of mealie meal. Chipata Shoprite has completely run dry and we have people going from one point to the other looking for the commodity. The situation is grave and there is need for government to quickly put up mitigation measures and ensure that the situation normalises.
“We find it very disappointing that while people are queuing for the commodity across the country hon Given Lubinda wants to simplify the situation by giving us statistics instead of giving us solutions. The Minister of agriculture says we have enough maize in stoke to last for the next three months, that is not what we need. The people of Zambia want to have access to mealie meal and have access to mealie meal going at affordable prices. We do not want statistics we want solutions from the minister of agriculture,” he said.
He added “And his Excellency the President as to be very wary because issues of food are a matter of national security. We do not want to see the situation that we saw in the late 90s when they were food riots because of shortage mealie meal.
This situation if it is not dealt with now it will degenerate into complete chaos and civil strife. Our advise to his Excellency is to fire the minister of agriculture as he has failed to ensure that this country has enough food and that this country has food to export and have an increased turn over of foreign exchange so that we can deal with the issues of inflation and deal with the issues of devaluation of the kwacha.”
He said President Lungu should stop hanging on to dead wood and that the President should be wary of the continued mealie meal shortages as it can be a source of civil strife.
“There is no need for the President to continue holding on to dead wood Mr Lubinda is a failed project. He has failed to provide farming inputs to the farmers and now he is failing to ensure that is country has enough food.
The president has to avert the crisis by taking remedial decisive measures that measure is to fire hon Given Lubinda ensure that the food reserve agency is instructed to offload the maize to the Millers. work on the key issues that have raised the production cost that is the continued load -shedding and other related costs,” he said