Parliamentarian calls on government to announce maize floor price
Livingstone, May 6, ZANIS ——– Kalomo Central United Party for National Development (UPND)member of parliament Request Mutanga has advised the government to start the maize buying exercise early to prevent farmers from being exploited by unscrupulous businessmen during this year’s marketing season.
And Mr Mutanga said it was unfortunate that some opposition MDD members are defecting to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government at the expense of promoting multi party democracy.
Speaking to ZANIS in an interview today, Mr Mutanga urged the government to announce the floor price of maize as soon as possible and start buying the maize to protect farmers from being
Mr Mutanga who is also UPND National Chairman for mobilization and structure noted that the poor maize harvest expected in most parts of the country should prompt the government to quickly move in before farmers are exploited.
“ I would urge the government to quickly announce the maize floor price and possibly start buying the commodity from farmers to prevent them from being exploited by some businessmen that have since invaded my area and are buying at K72,000 (KR 72) per 50 kilogramme of maize,” said Mr Mutanga.
The UPND MP also advised farmers in his area to desist from selling their commodity cheaply to brief case businessmen and instead wait for the floor price to be announced for them in order to negotiate for better deal for the product.
He, however said from the assessment done so far, people in some pockets of his area will require relief food following poor maize harvests due late delivery of farming inputs and erratic rains experienced.
And Mr Mutanga said that it was worrying at the rate at which opposition MMD members were defecting to the PF a move he noted has the potential to drive the country back to one party state.
He observed that it was sad that politicians in the country have become very selfish and self centred without regard for the growth of democracy.
“ It is unfortunate that hardly a day passes without you hearing that this person has defected to the PF and am afraid the rate at which some(MMD) members are defecting might take us back to the one part state which I believe is the intention of the PF,” Mr Mutanga said.
Solwezi MMD Member of Parliament Richard Taima and Kafulafuta MMD Member of Parliament James Chishiba are latest members to have ditched the former ruling party to join the PF.
Meanwhile, Mr Mutanga said the removal of 5 per cent fuel subsidy will adversely affect the performance of the economy saying the cost of production will soar resulting in high prices of goods and services.
He said government should rescind the decision and look for other means of raising revenue for economic development.