By SILUMESI MALUMO
THE country has enough maize to distribute to hunger stricken areas and there is no need to declare the situation a national emergency, National Union for Small Scale Farmers of Zambia (NUSSFZ) president, Frank Kayula, has said.
Dr Kayula said the country had enough maize grain to carter for all affected families until the next harvest.
He was reacting to a statement by United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, that President Edgar Lungu should declare the hunger situation in some parts of the country a national emergency.
Mr Hichilema said no denial by the Head of State and Patriotic Front officials would improve the provision of food unless government asked for international support to cushion the situation.
“We recommend that Mr Lungu effects the remedial measures as a matter of urgency, declare hunger a national disaster and ask international support for relief food to avert loss of lives due to starvation,” he said.
But Dr Kayula said it was prudent for Mr Hichilema to be sincere about the issue rather than peddle falsehoods.
The NUSSFZ chief said the country was food secure and no one would die due to starvation.
“I think we need to be sincere when talking about national issues, currently, the country has enough maize and it will cater for all families that were affected by the prolonged dry spells,” he said.
“The situation in some parts of Southern and Western Provinces cannot warrant for the declaration of national emergency. A national emergency can only be done if the whole country was affected,” Dr Kayula said.
“The only thing which can be done maybe is to call for a partial emergency because it’s only few areas which have been affected,” he said. And Dr Kayula urged government to expedite the distribution of maize to all affected areas.
He said there was need to ensure that all areas were food secure to avoid any family from starving.