Parliament was stunned.
In fact it would have been preposterous and laughable if it had not been disclosed by a very senior member of Zambian society.
In this day and age, it was incredulous to hear of a man competing for breast milk as a result of hunger, caused by famine.
At first Members of Parliament thought Katombora MP Dr. Musokotwane was joking, but soon it was clear that he was not. He was describing a very desperate situation confronting his constituents.
The food crisis in the area was so dire and desperate that his constituents resorted to all manner of survival techniques to keep body and soul together.
The narrative was devastating and his final appeal plaintive and equally desperate for the Government to take immediate remedial measures to ensure that food relief was delivered to the people of Liuwa, Mwandi and other areas were people were suffering.
To crown the depressing account Dr. Musokotwane appealed to Government not to use food relief for political ends but to ensure that suffering was assuaged. He deplored the use of relief supplies in time s of by elections to woo voters.
This is an abuse of national resources that should not be tolerated.
If anything the situation merits immediate investigation, not just by relief authorities but the Anti Corruption Commission to ensure that state resources have been abused for political ends and those responsible should be brought to book.
It is heart wrenching, disgraceful and indeed a mark of very poor stewardship that is a country which has an entire Disater Management unit located in the very high office of the Vice President; we should have such desperate situations of hunger.
It is not good enough to blame the situation on lack of transport. Our fixed wing fleet of the Zambia Air force has sufficient capacity and has been known to ferry politicians including the Vice President to campaign meetings for by elections and other political activities.
There is no reason therefore that a grown man should be forced to fight for breast milk. Government should not force people into desperation and want because the political consequences will be disaster. The rural folk may not constitute critical political substance, but the truth and reality is that they are human being and those with the wherewithal have a document to look after their brothers.God has bequeathed this country resources that must be used for all those in need. There is enough for everyone but certainly not enough for the selfish greed of a few.