Information Minister Kazako made to wait for over 3 hours as suppliers refused MACRA cheque for Cyclone Ana relief items

Kazako interacting with affected people in Chikwawa on Saturday 

* Kazako’s entourage included journalists transported from Blantyre that endured the over 3 hours

* Until it was called off after 4pm from around 1pm when Kazako joined the waiting journalists

* Kazako has since appealed for more support from wellwishers to flood affected households

By Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express & Memory Chatonda, MANA

Minister of Information and Digitization, Gospel Kazako finally delivered relief items on Saturday for survivors of Tropical Cyclone Ana to 593 flood affected households at Savala camp in Traditional Authority’s Makhwira in Chikwawa, after an aborted attempt on Friday.

On Friday, Malawi Communication and Regulatory Authority (MACRA) failed to secure the relief items after suppliers refused to accept MACRA’s cheque payment and as the government institution struggled to have the items ready, Kazako arrived at Thabwa but was stopped from proceeding to the handover area — to wait for confirmation that the items had been cleared.

The entourage included journalists transported from Blantyre that endured the over 3 hours with the Minister at Thabwa until it was called off after 4pm from around 1pm when Kazako joined the waiting journalists.


But come Saturday, the humble Kazako hounoured his presence and travelled once more to the Lower Shire where he observed that the displaced families lack basic necessities such as food, soap, shelter as well as clean and portable water.

He thus appealed for support from individuals and organisations to support the people affected by the devastating floods caused by tropical storm Ana with relief items for survival.

Cyclone Ana also affected parts of Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe and has so far claimed 33 lives in Malawi and affected 193,558 households (about 865,651 people) and displaced over 100,000 people as of February 1.

Speaking at Savala camp, Kazako called for urgent need for support from organisations and individuals, saying: “Many people are in desperate situation because some of them have lost their loved ones and property.

“Crops and livestock have been washed away rendering them hopeless. Even in the evacuation camps where the affected households are in, the situation is very pathetic especially to women and children. People are in dire need of food, shelter and other necessities to keep their lives going.”

Kazako assured the affected households that government will continue to do everything possible to provide necessary support to the affected families.

Effects of Cyclone Ana in Lower Shire

In his remarks, Traditional Authority  Makhwira said  hundreds of the displaced  families living in 17 camps in the area lack food, shelter,  sanitary facilities such as toilets and also clean and portable among other.

He then commended government for the quick response while calling for more support from other different organisations.


The affected households received different assorted items such as soap, flour, salt, black plastic sheet, plastic buckets and cups among others.

Similar donations by MACRA is expecting to reach out to other people in the affected districts of Mangochi and Zomba.

Meanwhile, Machinga District Commissioner Rosemary Nawasha has advised beneficiaries of the year’s lean season response not to sale the food support they are receiving from the government.

Nawasha made the plea Saturday when the district was launching the distribution of the government’s relief food in the area of Senior Chief Sitola in the district.

“It is the responsibility of government to ensure that its people are food secure hence today you are receiving this assistance. However you need to use this food by taking care of your families. This maize is not to be sold at all cost.


“I do not want to hear that you are selling the maize you have received. Make sure that the support is being used by your families,” said Nawasha.

She further urged the recipients to make sure that all school going children had food to avoid absenteeism.

Nawasha therefore applauded government for the support saying the district was hit hard by different calamities which forced people harvest less.


One of the beneficiaries Mercy Nyambi of Malindima village in the area of Senior Chief Sitolo said the support has come at the right time, adding that her family had nothing to depend on but with the support she got, life will change to the better.


“My family had nothing to rely upon. We did not harvest enough last year due to several factors such as prolonged dry spells, fall armyworms and even lack of fertilizers. With this support, it will go a long way to make us live,” she said.

Spokesperson for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs Chipiliro Khamula said the distribution exercise was government’s response to Malawi Vulnerability Assessment report which indicated that about 1.7 million Malawians are likely to be food insecure.

Khamula said this year, some beneficiaries are getting cash transfers while others food support.

In Machinga, about 18,134 families are getting support this year from government. — Additional reporting by Martin Chiwanda, MANA