Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza has warned his people to desist from any attempt to prevent Malawian traders from operating in the country.
Addressing a rally in Morrumbala district, which borders Malawi, Guebuza was faced with calls on the government to ban Malawian businessmen from the Mozambican markets, the Mozambican News Agency, AIM, reported Sunday.
Mozambicans have alleged that the Malawian farmers were undercutting their prices.
At the rally, a man named Micheque Fernando pleaded that the government should at least protect locally-produced tomatoes, alleging that Mozambicans resettled after the January floods in the Zambezi valley have grown tomatoes, but found it impossible to sell them.
“We spent money to transport our tomatoes to Quelimane (the provincial capital), but nobody buys them, because all the markets have been taken over by Malawians, ” Fernando said.
But Guebuza rejected his appeal, pointing out that during the floods in 2007 and earlier, and even during the war of destabilization, many Mozambicans who had fled into Malawi were well taken care of by Malawians.
He called on Mozambicans to compete with the Malawians by increasing their production.
“Only if we produce more, and with good quality can we sell without problems,” he admonished them.
“We have to step up the level of production so as to supply the entire province, and we still don’t have this capacity,” he said.