Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) national coordinator Chanda Kabwe has insisted that no one has died as a result of hunger but certain areas have been hit with malnutrition, rendering them emergency zones.

And Kabwe has advised the UPND leadership to follow the right procedures if they are genuinely interested in donating to hunger stricken communities around the country.

Speaking when he featured on Pan Africa Radio’s News Feedback programme, Sunday, the DMMU national coordinator said Shang’ombo, Gwembe and Lunga had been hit by malnutrition.

“If you can issue a misleading statement and you want to lie to the public, just know that you belong to the dark world, you are a liar and the Bible records that a liar is a child of the devil. I refuse to be part of the children of the devil because we stand with the truth and the truth is no one has died of hunger. Yes, government acknowledges that the situation in some areas such as Shang’ombo where we went is in an emergency, Gwembe is in an emergency, Lunga is in an emergency phase. That is why we have increased the allocation to these three districts so that we try and fight the malnutrition that we found in these areas,” Kabwe said.

And Kabwe advised UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to go through proper channels when making donations.

“Yes, the hunger situation is there but not to the point of death. So stop misleading the people. Then also, the story that government stopped the UPND president from donating is a lie, no one stopped him. If others are coming to donate, he can also donate. If he doesn’t want to donate, he can give someone and we will show them what to do. But I don’t want to waste time on liars, don’t lie, no one stopped you. If you want come through my office and I will give you what to do and where to donate but don’t be a liar,” Kabwe said.

“We have schemers in this country. Some people are trying to throw dust in the eyes of government and trying to mislead the nation. No one had died of hunger in this country. 16 days ago, I was in Western Province, out of the 16 districts in Western Province, I visited nine then my other directors visited the rest of the districts. I was Southern Province too and I am going back to finish the rest of the districts in Southern Province, no one has died because of hunger. I was in Shang’ombo too, we went there with my team. We visited the same Chiefdom where people claimed five people had died in a particular village, we never heard of anyone who died. We never saw a family that said they had lost a person, nothing. There was also a report in Gwembe and we went to see for ourselves who had died of hunger but all government hospitals, clinics and all private hospitals, no one has recorded any death of hunger in these areas.”

Kabwe regretted that some politicians were wiling to use the hunger situation to gain political mileage.

“The problem with us in this country is that we want to politicise everything. I think it is important for us to realise that Zambia is bigger than politics and that when a nation is faced with a situation, we need to put aside our political affiliations, tribe or religion or whatever grouping that you belong to and look at the national issue with a keen interest and try to provide solutions. DMMU is a unit in the office of the Vice-President and it has a blessing from Parliament. DMMU was established by an Act of Parliament and we operate on the Act of 2010 which passed through Parliament where all these people who are trying to bring politics to the operations of DMMU should be able to go and read and look at what the Act says. When we are faced with an emergency like where we are, the Act gives guidelines on how we need to coordinate the distribution of any kind of relief that will be given or donated to DMMU by any individual or any organisation. If you want to donate, there is a guideline and that guideline says ‘any donation, any form of support that you want render to the people in need, you need to go through DMMU’, it is very clear,” said Kabwe.

“When you see people start to make noise the way they are making noise, it simply means that they have no love for the people in need and they attach no value to the people who need the support. What they attach is their personal gains, they want to build their name through situations like this. Those who have value for the people need to follow the laid down procedure so that their effort is able to count than doing it a in a wrong way. That’s why members of parliament should be able to guide their political leaders on these procedures.”