President EDGAR LUNGU has warned that Government will be compelled to introduce statutory price controls if Millers continue exploiting consumers. The President has further warned that Government might be forced to repossess milling plants or eject milling firms from the market if millers continue hiking mealie meal prices. President Lungu said the price of mealie meal is too high for the ordinary Zambian.
The Head of state said this at Luato Market in Kalulushi when he addressed scores of marketeers and residents. Mr Lungu wondered why millers have resorted to unnecessary hikes when they are buying the grain from farmers cheaply.
Mr. Lungu said there was no way milling companies and traders would continue hiking mealie-meal prices when the price of maize was low.
He said maize was available in the country and there was no way mealie-meal prices would be hiked.
President Lungu said government had the power to close milling companies if they did not comply, because mealie-meal was a staple food.
He further said government would control the price of mealie-meal if milling companies continue hiking the prices so as to stabilize the price.
Mr Lungu said he will be meeting the agriculture Minister Given Lubinda and cabinet to discuss and look at trends on the market where consumers are being exploited by millers.Earlier, President Lungu took time to tour the 270 million Kwacha National Pension scheme -NAPSA housing scheme.
And President Lungu says no lecturer will be fired from the Copperbelt University-CBU as a result of the misunderstanding between management and lecturers which led to student protests and subsequent premature closure. Mr. Lungu said that all the parties involved have put behind their past and have opened a new chapter, which will be anchored by dialogue and respect for one another.
The Head of State made the remarks when he met the executive of the Copperbelt University Students Union-COBUSU at the Presidential Guest House in Kitwe. The President said that he will clamp down on lecturers who want to take advantage of the election period to champion their political cause. Mr Lungu said that he will not allow institutions of higher learning to be politically abused.
The President also advised students not to be used by politicians to resort to violence through street protests. He said it is unacceptable for students to disturb the rights of innocent citizens whom they stone on the roads each time they want to advance their grievances. Mr. Lungu emphasized that discipline is essential for the students to succeed in their academic pursuits. He noted that students who compromise on discipline do not achieve much in life.
And COBUSU President Humphrey Mwenya said there is need for Government to upgrade some of the vocational trade institutions into colleges and universities. Mr. Mwenya also asked the President to review meal allowances, as the current economic status is unable to sustain students.
IN response Mr. Lungu promised to table the matter with Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu and Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda.