Governance and human rights advocate Undule Mwakasungula has criticized the government for what he has termed as ‘selective response to natural disasters’.
While commending the State President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for declaring a state of disaster in response to the devastating impact of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in some districts in the Southern Region, Mwakasungula said he finds the approach taken by the government to be selective.
He wondered why the government has paid a deaf ear to the cries of the people from the Northern Region, especially in Karonga where dry spells threaten the production of the two staple grain of rice and maize n the district.
The development has prompted Bishop of the Diocese of Karonga, Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka, to launch a resource mobilization initiative to assist the affected families.
Thus, Mwakasungula expressed dismay with the lack of interest by the government to respond to the cries of the people of Karonga.
“I disagree with this. It’s selective in the approach by the government. Maybe I am seeing what others are not seeing. What we need now is more humanitarian support to the affected and not declaring a state of national disaster when you are out of the country. It does not make sense at all. We need a national leadership, which cares for its people,” he argued.
He said the government has the responsibility and obligation to support its citizens in times of distress and disasters such as tropical cyclones and droughts. We can not be declaring state of national disasters with aim of thinking it will be easier in looking for support.
“People pay taxes to the government. And when calamities such as these occur, it is the responsibility of the government to support and help the citizens, through their taxes ” stated Mwakasungula.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Colleen Zamba, has announced that President Chakwera will arrive from Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday afternoon.