Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Chipata district has called on the government not to sell the maize in strategic reserves, warning that there might be hunger in the country.

Speaking when he met Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Beauty Undi-Phiri during a Nc’wala traditional ceremony preparatory meeting at Laweni in Kasenengwa district, Chief Mpezeni observed that this year’s rainfall pattern was not favourable for a good crop yield.

He said other provinces were already experiencing floods where crops had completely been destroyed.

“We are thankful to the government that most of the farmers have received the farming inputs, but the challenge is that the rains started a bit late and most of the crops have not germinated,” said Mpezeni.

“We request government not to sell the maize because our people may have no food as we have seen in other areas where crops have been destroyed with floods.”

The Paramount Chief stated that people depended government in times of crises such as hunger; urging government to start positioning itself to respond to the hunger situation.

And Undi-Phiri said government would remain committed to responding to the needs of the people across the country.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary also informed the Paramount Chief that the Ministry of Tourism had accepted a hunting license application by the organising committee of the Nc’wala Traditional Ceremony.

“That animal Nkosi, I have come to give you a report that they will give us the licence. I was with the people from Tourism together with the Organizing Committee Chairman and they agreed to give us the license. I am sure the license will be out by Monday and our ceremony will be celebrated well,” said Undi-Phiri.

Meanwhile, Nc’wala Organizing Committee Secretary General Adamson Sakala said preparations for this year’s traditional ceremony in terms of resource mobilisation and works at the main arena had reached 70 percent.

This year’s Nc’wala traditional ceremony will be held on the 26th of February at Mtenguleni village of Chipata district.