Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000
BY KALOBWE BWALYA
IT IS an act of sabotage for some traditional leaders in Southern Province to discourage their subjects from receiving farm inputs on a miscued belief that the inputs were late, the Patriotic Front (PF) has charged.
PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya has exposed a plot in which some chiefs in Southern Province are discouraging their subjects from collecting fertilizer and seed so that the region could become food insecure and cause the people in the region to rise against the Patriotic Front (PF) government and President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Bwalya said the governing party had received confirmed reports that some chiefs are stopping their subjects from collecting fertilizer in a scheme that could be nothing less than sabotage.
These traditional leaders are misleading unsuspecting farmers that it is too late to plant, hence they should not collect the inputs. Two chief and one head woman have been quoted saying disparaging remarks against the leadership of President Lungu and accusing him of knowing nothing about the agriculture, hence the resulting in delays in the delivery of farming inputs,” said Mr Bwalya.
He said the party had verified information from Southern Province indicating that some chiefs and headmen and women were telling peasant farmers not to collect and plant seed distributed by GRZ under input support program (FISP) saying that the Government was late.
Mr Bwalya said food security was a national security issue because hunger was a recipe for instability, and hungry people can pose a danger in society. Therefore, traditional leaders who were discouraging farmers from planting were not only compromising food security, but endangering national security as well.
He said it was, therefore, strange that a chief or headman or woman would discourage poor peasant farmers from collecting seed provided by GRZ under FISP, arguing that it would be a waste of time because the inputs arrived late.
“We are afraid and every Zambian should be afraid that if the farmers in Southern Province listen to these powerful traditional leaders and decide not to plant, there will be hunger in the area which produces a lot of maize when the weather is good.
“Should that happen, the same traditional leaders will turn round and convince people that the hunger was caused by the party in power (PF) and it is unacceptable,” Mr Bwalya said.
And Mr Bwalya has appealed to the culprits to stop discouraging farmers from collecting their seed allow them to plant.
“We are investigating the real motive for the action of these traditional leaders who are clearly trying to create a crisis regarding food security. Given the reality that some leaders are notorious in praying for national tragedy believing that they can ride on the back of national misfortune to get into power, we are leaving no stone unturned in getting to the bottom of the motive of the culprits,” Mr Bwalya said.