By Grace Kapatuka:
Malawi’s President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday assured Malawians of improved network for Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) currently being faced by farmers when purchasing the inputs.
Speaking during a brief stop at Kamuzu Road in Salima on Wednesday, on his way to Lilongwe from Mangochi, Chakwera said government is aware of the network glitches facing the program and that it is working towards rectifying it.
He has since advised people in the country to remain calm as government officials work on the problem.
“I am aware that the program is being faced by network problems. As government, we are working tirelessly towards rectifying the problem to ensure that every deserving farmer who is yet to buy the inputs buys them.
“Let me ask everyone to remain calm as we continue working on the problem. Do not despair because everyone who is supposed to benefit from the program will have a chance to buy the inputs once the problem is rectified,” said Chakwera.
He, however, warned vendors who are jeopardising the system by dubiously buying the farm inputs at the expense of poor Malawians to immediately stop or risk being jailed.
“The program targets subsistence farmers and not vendors who would like to take advantage of the program to advance their business desires.
“Let me warn you that government will not tolerate that and will make sure that once you are found you face the law,” said Chakwera.
The President also took advantage of the stop-over to issue a strong warning to rape and defilement perpetrators of stiffer punishments if they continue to victimise young girls and women.
Speaking amid escalating reports of rape and defilement cases in the country, Chakwera said his government is concerned, hence instituted a task force to look into such cases so that girls and women who are mostly victims are protected.
“It is disturbing to learn that children and women are being defiled and raped every day. I would like to warn you that government will not tolerate this malpractice.
“Everyone found perpetrating these offences will face the law,” he further warned.
Recently, there have been reports of increased rape and defilement cases across the country, a development that forced some quarters of the society, including the Association of Women in Media (AWOME) to march and present a petition to Parliament.
The march asked for sterner punishments for perpetrators.
Malawi News Agency-MANA