Heifer Asked to Fulfil Pledge in Thyolo

Traditional Authority Nanseta and Sub-Traditional Authority Mangazi of Thyolo have urged the humanitarian organisations to desist from making pledges to vulnerable communities they cannot fulfil, saying this undermines chiefs’ integrity.

The two have said this after Heifer International Malawi has reportedly failed to honor a pledge it made in April this year of distributing 50 Kg of maize flour to each of the 820 cyclones survivors in their areas including Traditional Authority Khwethemule and Ndalama.

The traditional leaders say the communities think it is the chiefs that misappropriated the food which the organisation promised when it distributed plastic sheets, soap, cooking oil, beans, salt, mosquito nets and blankets to the survivors.

"We should admit that the organisation really helped us but they made a promise to distribute maize flour. We don't say that the organisation wronged us to promise.

"But since they promised, they should try to help us. We are not demanding, but asking them since people are still facing hunger in the area," STA Mangazi said.

On his part, Traditional Authority Nanseta added: "this brings confusion in the areas because the beneficiaries think the reliefs had came but chiefs misappropriated them. So in other ways, this undermines our integrity and amounts to corruption."

However, in a written response, the organisation's communication consultant Andrew Fred Massa told Zodiak Online on Friday that they will not comment on the issue now as the stakeholders’ engagement with district officials, chiefs and beneficiaries is underway on the way forward for the project.

"Heifer International Malawi will not be commenting on this issue at this time. We are currently engaging stakeholders in Thyolo including district officials, chiefs and beneficiaries on the way forward for this project.

“We do not intend to engage our stakeholders through the media but through consultations as we have done since we started working in Thyolo in 2014.

"Once these consultations are finalized, we will make a judgment whether it will be appropriate to engage the media at that time," he said.

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