UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema has declared the prevailing hunger situation in the country a national disaster and called on well wishers to donate food items towards the cause.
Mr Hichilema has since appealed to President, Edgar Lungu to emulate the declaration to further allow the international community unlock its emergency funds.
“Let me use this opportunity to declare an emergency and a disaster with regards to hunger in this Country. I will not wait for Lungu and the PF to dictate how we help our people. We shall not allow the situation to continue unabated”, said Mr Hichilema.
He said he hoped that President Lungu would follow his lead and allow the flow of humanitarian aid to affected areas as both the party and his individual assistance is not enough to avert the crisis which has reached endemic levels.
President Hichilema who was speaking during a Press Briefing this morning said it was wrong for the government to refuse to declare a national disaster.
“It is wrong for Lungu to refuse to declare the hunger situation in the country a national disaster when the majority of our people have resorted to eating unripe wild fruits. Just in Chibombo and Rufunsa districts, our people don’t have access to clean drinking water, health services and food,” said Hichilema.
The country’s main opposition leader, who also rubbished President Lungu’s State of the Nation Address , said the current hunger situation should not be blamed on climate change but the poor leadership style of the PF.
He said it was unfortunate that the government failed to utilize the normal to above normal rainfall received in the northern half of the country to grow more maize which would have averted the food insecurity adding that the continued export of maize despite warnings of an impending El Niño is a sign of failed leadership.
Mr Hichilema said it was unfortunate of the PF to lay the blame on Climate Change when other countries had managed to weave their way through the problem by coming up with sound solutions to combat the problem.
He said it was wrong for President Lungu to refuse to declare the hunger as a national disaster when bigger economies such as Brazil have done so and were receiving aid from the United States of America.
He said it was sad to note that Cabinet Ministers were getting in excess of K80, 000 per month in salaries and allowances when the ordinary citizen was surviving on a wild fruit called Mpundu.
He has since vowed to continue with his community visitations including Chawama and Gwembe distributing mealie-meal to the needy as the Republican Constitution guarantees him freedom of movement.
UPND MEDIA TEAM