Luwingu farmers threaten to beat councilor for delayed inputs

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—Ilambo Ward councillor in Luwingu, Francis Chungu, has fled the area for fear of being lynched by farmers who have threatened to beat him up if government does not deliver fertilizer to the area in two weeks time.


The threats have Mr Chungu, flee and hide in the township of Luwingu district in the Northern Province.


The aggrieved farmers forced the councillor to walk over 72 to report the matter to the Police.


Mr Chungu said farmers in the area have threatened to beat him up because of PF government’s failure to provide the commodity to farmers resulting to most of the maize fields destroyed.


“I am here because farmers have threatened to beat me because of their maize which has turned yellow due to no fertilizers. The situation is not good on my side as people are against the government,” lamented the councillor.


Mr Chungu said farmers in Ilambo ward believe the PF cheated them during the tripartite elections in 2011 that fertilizer and other necessities will be provided within 90 days but it is now two years farmers are still struggling to obtain fertilizer, a situation which was not there under MMD government.


Mr Chungu said peasant farmers in his ward have even regretted having voted the Patriotic Front which has proved to be a failure in the agricultural sector.


Police advised the councillor to discuss the issue with the District Commissioner, Mambwe Katontoka, to help him find avenues on how the matter could be amicably handled.


Mr Chungu, who was followed by farmers who demanded for 552 by 50kg bags of top dressing fertilizers, was disappointed to note that the district had only received 500 by kg bags of top dressing which was also distributed to other areas.


He appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to distribute the inputs before the aggrieved farmers resort to beating PF councillors and other party officials in the area.


Mr Chungu further said he even stopped going to his maize fields for fear of his life as the treats have become more and more serious.


He also lamented that the maize had already tussled, adding that there was no need for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to deliver basal dressing fertilizer because it was too late.


Mr Chungu predicted that most people will experience acute food shortages resulting to severe hunger if the government fails to contain the situation by releasing top dressing fertilizer.

When asked if he was going back home area, the farmers who accompanied him not to return to the ward, saying he would be risking his life if goes home because farmers back home were too bitter with the situation.


They said people have risen against him because he is one of the people who were elected in 2011 and formed government and they expect to see improvement from where the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) ended.


Last week Patriotic Front Provincial Chairperson, Peter Mwansa, also expressed worry over the way government has handled the fertilizer distribution, saying the fertilizer distribution is also affecting party mobilization in province.


And Northern Province Minister, Gerry Chanda, also apologized to farmers in the province for the late delivery of agricultural inputs when he paid a courtesy call on Chiefs in Mpulungu, Mbala, Mporokoso, Kaputa and Luwingu districts on his familiarizations tour.


He said it was not government’s intention to delay inputs distribution but Nyiombo, the company which was contracted to deliver the fertilizer, has disappointed the government and the nation at large.


He, however, appealed to the farmers to remain united as government was doing everything possible to avert the situation in future.