Villagers in Pemba eating Maize bran
Villagers in Pemba eating Maize bran

A Journalist from Chikuni Radio has recounted how he painfully witnessed starving families in Pemba eat Maize bran meant for animals.

Fredinand Sianyuka was coveting stories on the devastation caused by drought in Pemba’s Habbanyuka village to Gwembe’s Kkoma area when he met several villagers resorting to eating Maize bran.

“Today my colleague Karrus Hang’andu and I saw with our naked eyes a family feeding on maize bran(Busenga) as their main food due to lack of mealie meal and have now turned on maize bran given to them by GRZ meant for livestock,” Sianyuka recounted in his Facebook post.

“Today we came across two young girls in their early teens and four older women who walked for over 7 hours from Habbanyuka in Pemba to Kkoma in Gwembe district with bunches of banana on their back and head hoping to exchange with fish at the above stated place.”

“All this is because of hunger and sadly the two girls are currently out of school as they now help to fend for their families,” he says.

“This and much more we witnessed today as we headed into Gwembe district (Sompani ward) about 80km from Chikuni Radio, Monze in a quest to fully understand the extent of hunger in the said district.”

Sianyuka said he could not believe his eyes and found himself shedding tears.

“I couldn’t help it but shed tears upon seeing people relying on baobab fruits as their main meals.”

“A check at the nearby school reviews that only about 20% of 380 pupils at the school managed to report for class when schools opened for third term and this is largely attributed to hunger.”

He said, “Sadly those mandated to help keep saying there is enough food.”

A pot of Baobab fruits being prepared for a meal
A pot of Baobab fruits being prepared for a meal
Villagers preparing Baobab fruits for a meal
Villagers preparing Baobab fruits for a meal
Journalist Fredinand Sianyuka from Chikuni Radio interviewing a local official during his tour of drought his areas in Pemba and Gwembe
Journalist Fredinand Sianyuka from Chikuni Radio interviewing a local official during his tour of drought his areas in Pemba and Gwembe
A Journalist from Chikuni Radio interviewing villagers in Pemba on the extent of the drought
A Journalist from Chikuni Radio interviewing villagers in Pemba on the extent of the drought
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46 COMMENTS

  1. Meantime our colleagues who supports PF will deny this and call anyone who brings it up a UPND cadre. smh.
    Like I always say, just because you have benefitted from the corruption in PF shouldnt blind you to the suffering of others. If the government was concerned about people, would they be refusing to declare the food situation a disaster? Even when advised by the WFP? If they cared would Lungu have bought himself a luxury jet and be flying all over the place like a teenager who has just been given a car? Would the peoole behind the 48 houses be protected by government? Would the corruption behind the 42 fire wheelburrows be covered? All this is money that would have been used. And meantime when other people take initiative to donate food, they are being prevented and tribal remarks are…

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    • For Edgar Lungu this means nothing. And yet his govt has a DC in Pemba backed up by security agencies like police and snoopers. These journalists should do news consumers a favour by seeking comment from DCs.

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    • continued..
      tribal remarks are being made? But these are the people in PF. They dont care, as long as the are not affected by the suffering.
      They have no principles, but you see some of them trying to potray themselves as being very educated and clever with, all sorts of empty analysis and claims. And then you have some whose comments on this blog show that they have empty heads and full bellies. Solomon was spot on when he said “the earth trembles under a fuul whose belly is filled with food”. And yet these are somehow in the US in foreign service. Their comments are so incoherent, that one wonders if they are sane! They seem out of touch with reality like a schizophrenic, and yet they are at the zambian embassy in the US.

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    • Zambia has enough food. Trouble is opposition MPS do not want to work with government and provide information on where food is urgently needed. If they do they get expelled from their party. They need to inform the DC so that food can be sent there.
      People will due because of poor politicalactions and not lack of food.

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    • Relief food distribution is govt business and not parliamentary business where opposition MP participate. Right now parliament is in session and MPs aren’t in their constituencies but the DC is there. HH has beggars from Bauleni turning up at his doorstep in Lusaka judt about everyday. What is he supposed to do? Go to Pemba?

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    • Meantime that area has an MP and Councillors. It had to take a cadre journalist to bring this to the media audience not to Government.
      While the reporter is trying sensationalise the situation, DMMU is already in the area and those villagers have not just been reached.
      Take heart folks, no one will die of hunger. The Government of the day is a very caring one.
      If maize bran reached the area, maize meal is surely covering that last mile.

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    • Meantime that area has an MP and Councillors. It had to take a cadre journalist to bring this to the media audience and not to Government.
      While the reporter is trying sensationalise the situation, DMMU is already in the area and those villagers have not just been reached.
      Take heart folks, no one will die of hunger. The Government of the day is a very caring one.
      If maize bran reached the area, maize meal is surely covering that last mile.

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    • Sad part is some of us who want to help our elders in southern province cannot do that as there is no timely payment of salaries by employers. I have a deposit of k200,000 with Madison Assets Management and they refused to pay me back for over 5 months now. Now I have to attend creditors meeting on Friday ti agree to convert it into preferred share which will stop earning any interest and will be paid over a period ss and when Madison sells assets.

      If government is not careful LSA group will go under and over 400 employees will be on the streets. Larry Sikutwa messed it up all. Madison General has to pay Atlas Mara 65,000,000 Kwacha and group has to pay another K170,000,000 to the bank.

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    • They should all move to Lusaka. What’s the point of being in a remote area where you cant sustain yourselves?

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    • If he can bring all the stolen money from PANAMA they will be eating MABISI daily. What he doesn’t know is that when he dies Zambian money shall die in PANAMA too. CHILDISH. Drought can lead to this. UNELECTABLE.

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    • Meantime that area has an MP and Councillors. It had to take a cadre journalist to bring this to the media audience noticed to Government.
      While the reporter is trying sensationalise the situation, DMMU is already in the area and those villagers have not just been reached.
      Take heart folks, no one will die of hunger. The Government of the day is a very caring one.
      If maize bran reached the area, maize meal is surely covering that last mile.

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  2. What is Inonge Wina’s Disaster Mitigating Management Unit (DMMU) doing about this unfortunate situation? Please move in and help these people before they literally die of hunger.

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    • I think some of these women eating animal feeds is by ignorancy and choice. I think they don’t believe that animal feeds shouldn’t be cooked.
      Just same like the “PF official” in first picture, his shoes are for bedroom only, but he doesn’t know that, he goes to church and work in those night-shoes which come with pajamas.
      I don’t like PF, but I think villagers need some education on whats not to eat or wear.

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    • Dr Peter Magombeyi was due to fly to South Africa after being injured in suspected abduction.
      Riot police have been deployed in Harare to stop a doctor, who was reportedly abducted last week by suspected state security services, from leaving Zimbabwe to seek medical attention in South Africa.
      Dr Peter Magombeyi, the president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, was held in an unknown location for five days last week before being discovered on the side of a road, disoriented and injured.
      He had been due to take an evening flight to neighbouring South Africa to receive emergency treatment for suspected liver damage and his lawyers had earlier obtained a high court order to allow travel.
      Late on Tuesday, dozens of police arrived at the clinic where Magombeyi has been cared for…

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    • HH is not government you fool. He does not have the key to the treasury you *****. Lungu is the one with kasaka kandalama you imbecile. Why do bring in an individual to come and sort out what is clearly a government problem created by PF *****s.

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    • He can not rush to that place were theres need to offer help because he knows, even if half the population of people in chikuni village die of hunger, whatever the number that will remain will still vote for him because that place is already under his coverage automatically, so he would go to an area where theres enough food just corrupt the people with his donations so as to buy more votes in these areas by showing his false charity. It’s a political gimmick to widen vote coverage. Ifintu niweka.

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  3. Inonge Wina told us “you cannot live on mealie meal alone”. This story makes very sad reading. May the DMMU quickly come to the rescue of these people

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  4. Maize was originally a useless grass but today it is defined as food. It has been globalised from areas of plenty to poor Africa. I stop here.

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  5. Don’t worry people of Pemba we are coming we thought we must first donate mealie-meal in Bauleni we need their votes since yours are guaranteed also please call on your area MP to let them explain what they have done to mitigate your hunger…oh we forgot they have been allocated land in forest 27

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  6. DUNUNA REVERSE! My fellow citizens, this is the Zambia you danced for and praised a leader who told you straight, he has no vision. This situation goes beyond MP’s but a level minded commander in chief who has the balls to call this a National Hunger crisis to allow international aid agencies come in and help until the next harvest, a simple decision yet for some its sounds like being asked to carry your boat to Mars. Declare A National Hunger Crisis

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    • @Forecast. God does not know. Start resolving your problem, let him know and meet him halfway. Unfortunately, only “God knows” is the mindset of most Zambians. Any wonder why it was declared a Christian nation? No, because they know that they will instill the fear of God into you and they will get away with anything.

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  7. @bash Nono .We all know that people of Southern Province are ever self reliance they don’t depend on government or politics for their survival only that for the past two years consecutively rain patterns were poor.
    I plainly see no reason why you mentioned that Lungu told us that he has no vision as if ever since Southern Province is absolutely depends on government hands out if form of food stuffs.

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  8. For sure people in southern part of zambia are suffering due to drought which was experienced last season,we all know very well that we have only about three provinces if not mistaken namely,southern,eastern and central which feeds this country in terms of staple food and we have seen how the price of meali meal how it has gone up just because these provinces did not harvest well.

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  9. THIS IS REALLY SAD AND SO PAINFUL. AND THEN YOU GO TO NEW YORK WHEN YOU HAVE A BIG CRISIS AT HOME. U CAN EVEN SEND A MINISTER OR AMBASSADOR.HE GOES THERE TO DO WHAT ?AS IF HE IS PRESENTING ANYTHING.JUST WANTING TO BE SEEN.TATA BA LUNGU SOBER UP AND NOT THOSE SURROUNDING U WILL EVER BE THERE WHEN GOD WILL ASK U TO ACCOUNT FOR THE PAIN U HAVE CAUSED ON ZAMBIANS. REMAPOSA DIDN’T TRAVEL CZ OF THE CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA. U,STILL WANT TO BE SEEN THAT YOU ARE STILL ACTIVE IN TRAVELLING?BA LUNGU LET PEOPLE TELL YOU THE TRUTH NOT THOSE LIES THEY FEED U.

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  10. I thought our friends are headsmen and women. Why can’t they sell some of their animals so that they can buy mealie meal? When they get relief food in form of maize, they are also given maize bran for their cattle. Now when they finish mealie meal, that is when they resort to maize bran and not that govt is giving them maize bran for their consumption. And in 2021 they will go en mass to vote for their god who does not care about their well being. In 2021, God will punish you more severely if you again vote for hh.

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  11. Has HH already donated to these people? This is the place he was supposed to start from. Let him show that he cares for people who voted for him.

    Ordinarily, I would not have commented like that if HH had not donated in Bauleni. Why is he shy of donating in his homeland or even Western province where a lot of people are starving? Does he fear PF tribalists will throw mad at him?

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  12. VIVA Edgar Chagwa Lungu, 2021 ni Lungu Na futi na futi. Lungu has gone to the UN to to strike deals so that he can come back with bags of money to distribute to all of you.

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  13. Very sad for people of Southern Province. At one point the province was known to be the food basket for Zambia. It’s just the vulgarities of nature that the people are suffering. Otherwise, they are a hard working people.

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  14. Where is their MP? If it is true let them ask double H to give them mealie meal. Until they start eating feaces that’s when government will give them food

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  15. Busy blaming government for your own mistakes. Your MPs and councilors don’t want to work with government. How do you expect government to know that people in that area need help? Instead of rushing to the media, this reporter was supposed to meet the DC for Pemba and inform him. Government is busy distributing relief food to areas where hunger information has been reported. For as long as Bantu Stan groups avoid working with government, they will continue complaining. Swallow your pride and work with government or call your small god HH to help.

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  16. Let HH buy them mealie meal than donating in Bauleni where people vote for PF!!Kainde must do the right thing.
    Moreover,Southerners must stop mocking God too.When ECL called for prayers about the rains in 2017 and 2018,these people laughed at Zambians who were praying for rains.Now see what God did to your province?You had no rains.God is Almighty and capable of doing anything.We feel for you though brethren and we pray that God gives you rain soon.

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  17. PF govt has lost control of the hunger situation in the country. The so called maize in depots is not enough to feed startving people unless are able to eat one meal per day. If somebody is eating Nshima morning, lunch and evenng, there is not enough maize for rural people who are hard hit. That is why PF is scared. It will expose their inadequate planning as available maize was sold to DRC and what is remaining cannot last.

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  18. There is a crisis in the midst of plenty. It is govt duty to identify areas in need of this and distribute food urgently otherwise some of our people will be stripped off the remaining dignity. I can’t believe this is happening in Zambia. Let’s not trivialise or politicise this issue. Let’s solve it and pledge not to allow anyone to go hungry. Food security has a dimension of food sovereignty and choice. Eating gaga is not a choice! Act now please!

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  19. The reason why it bufles me when such stories come out is that the aurhers dont tell us what the area MPs or councillors, DCs, Provincial Ministers or PSs tell them. Or is it that the joinalist do not contact any of these at the time.
    Do they invite the Provincial Minister to actually see for himself and if they do, what response do they get? All rhis is never mentioned in their articles. what kind of journalists are they?

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  20. And also, whu does HH shun these so needy areas and prefere to donate to people in Lusaka?
    All this does not add up

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