The continuous scarcity of mealie meal has angered a lot of Chingola residents who have described the situation as unacceptable.
Residents were queuing up from as early as 08:00 on Monday at the Pick ‘n’ Pay town centre branch with the hope of buying a bag of mealie meal.
The residents talked to blamed the authorities for not being strict enough on those who are smuggling the commodity.
“I think this just show how weak our President is because he has the power to stop those taking the mealie meal outside the country, but he is not exercising that authority”, said one of the residents.
Others expressed concern that the PF government was taking the country back to the UNIP era when queuing up for commodities was the order of the day.
“It is saddening to see and experience what our parents and grandparents used to go through at this time and age when the world has developed. This country has enough maize to cater for everyone but it is like these people are more interested in making huge profits by selling the mealie meal to the neighbouring countries,” complained another resident.
And the residents have since urged the government to put up strong measures in order to curb and regulate the movement of mealie meal.
“We are seeing tracks loaded with mealie meal going towards the border, how can you decide to feed your neighbours when your people are starving, if they have failed let them say so because we cannot continue to leave like this,” said another resident.
The residents further said that if they manage to purchase the mealie meal at pick and pay they would only spend something like K75 to K80 for a 25 Kg bag of breakfast, but when it goes in the hands of other traders it costs much higher.
And Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo said the pandemonium which was at Pick n’ Pay yesterday was uncalled for.
Mr Tembo said the mealie meal short was artificial because Chingola receives the commodity in large quantities.
“What happens is that several times the commodity comes in the afternoon and the owners sells a bit with a promise of selling the rest the following day. But when residents go to buy the following morning they find mealie meal smuggled out.
“As a party in the district we are very concerned but we are meeting the District Commissioner Mary Chibesa today to put our heads together with a view of finding lasting solution,” he said.