Councillor admits free maize registration left out deserved beneficiaries

By Sarah Gwetsani

Councilor for Maria Ward in Lilongwe City Central Constituency Patrick Makumba, has admitted that registration of names to benefit from free maize distribution currently government is implementing across the country left out deserved beneficiaries in his Ward.

Makumba said chiefs and Block Leaders of the deserved beneficiaries did not write names of them for the reasons best known to themselves a development which has brought in noise that some other people find their way in into being recipients of free food.

Free maize distribution Malawi
Free maize distribution exercise being politicized

He said he was very disappointed at the Kanengo Police Station seeing deserved beneficiaries kneeling down and cry on his feet that that they were not registered and he immediately ordered 19 bags of maize to be shared to them so that they at least go back home smiling.

He said following the development, he convened a meeting with the area’s Civil Protection Committee that what happened during free maize distribution should not happen again with the Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) which registration of beneficiaries is underway.

The councilor said his Ward received 3,093 bags of free maize on paper and after trucks were coming to off-load the maize at the Kanengo Police Station, the distribution centre, it was discovered that many beneficiaries did not receive the maize.

He said the angry communities left out of the free maize distribution centre with some shouting on top of their voices and started fabricating lies that he has diverted maize to an unknown destination so that he put it on sale for his benefit.

Makumba said this bad news touched him greatly in his heart and he took with him chiefs and Block Leaders of the area to Lilongwe City Council so that together with the council officials, they should account for the missing 599 bags of maize.

He said the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and Lilongwe City Council owes an explanation for the missing 599 bags of maize lamenting that his name was damaged alleging him as a thief for stealing free maize bags for the area.

“My name was destroyed, the chiefs and Block Leaders heard it by themselves that the missing bags of maize did not come to the beneficiaries,” said Makumba.

He has assured people of Maria Ward that 599 bags of maize will be coming for the beneficiaries which were left out in the distribution of free maize bags advising them to keep patience that those who did not benefit from free maize will benefit in the Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP).

On Corruption and favoritism in the registration of beneficiaries, Makumba said he is not aware that some committee members were pocketing cash he is only hearing from other people saying last year, the news was the same with Covid-19 money via mobile phones.

“I can assure you that I being the overseer of Ward Civil Protection Committee, we did our work to the best of our knowledge and we cannot stop noise from being speculated,” said Makumba.