No one has died of hunger, President insists
14 April 2016, 20:38
Lilongwe - Malawi President Peter Mutharika has maintained that no citizen in his country has died as a result of hunger, as the southern African nation continues to face serious food shortages.
According to Malawi24, Mutharika said this during the opening of the tobacco market in Lilongwe. He reiterated that his government would continue to ensure that no Malawian died due to extreme hunger.
Mutharika's utterances came after local media reports indicated that at least one person had died in the Mzimba area due to hunger.
The president dismissed the reports as lies, adding that the man was actually a refugee who had been left in the wild for an extended amount of time before his death.
"I have been told by the Malawi police service and the intelligence bureau that no one died of hunger in the country, although some media houses reported the matter," Mutharika said.
Mutharika asked traders to desist from selling their produce to vendors and instead unite with the country's citizens to harvest more food.
Mutharika declared a state of emergency in the country on Wednesday.
A report by AlJazeera indicated that maize production in Malawi had dropped by 12%, leaving it short of around one million tons of maize needed to feed the population.
"I declare Malawi [in] a state of national disaster following prolonged dry spells during the 2015/16 agriculture season," Mutharika said.