Maize being Smuggled to Malawi
Maize being Smuggled to Malawi

SIXTEEN more trucks laden with Food Reserve Agency (FRA) maize destined for Mozambique and Malawi have been intercepted in Nyimba and Chipata districts in Eastern Province.

And a truckload of 1,200 bags of mealie-meal hidden inside 70 bags of maize destined for Kasumbalesa border has been seized in Ndola.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said at a Press briefing yesterday that 14 trucks carrying more than 600 bags of FRA maize were intercepted in Nyimba, while Zambia National Service (ZNS) officers stopped two trucks loaded with maize in Chipata.

Mr Kasolo said 11 trucks destined for Mozambique were impounded in Nyimba on Thursday while the other three were intercepted yesterday.

“The DC for Nyimba Colonel Peter Kunda Kaisa has just told me that 11 trucks were impounded on Thursday and today (yesterday) three more trucks that were on their way to Mozambique have been impounded.

“In Chipata, ZNS intercepted two trucks loaded with maize on their way to Malawi. The DC for Chipata Mr Kalunga Zulu rushed to the scene to see what was happening,” Mr Kasolo said.

He said the 14 trucks seized in Nyimba were believed to belong to Zambians while the two trucks intercepted by ZNS had foreign number plates.

He commended ZNS for showing vigilance after receiving instructions from President Edgar Lungu that they should be checking on smuggling of maize at exit points.

And Patriotic Front (PF) officials in Ndola helped in the interception of a truck carrying 1,200 bags of mealie-meal on the pretext that the truck had maize.
PF Black Delta chairperson Robert Kapakala said the truck was intercepted after a tip-off that it was carrying mealie-meal and not maize and that the commodity was destined for Kasumbalesa.

Mr Kapakala said it was surprising that people could take mealie-meal to the Copperbelt when it had enough millers.

It was discovered that the truck had three brands of mealie-meal despite papers showing that it was carrying maize.

“We were prompted to take action and have been on the ground to monitor the situation. Government has sent warnings for people to desist from smuggling mealie-meal.

“These truck drivers have been offloading the commodity in Chililabombwe and smuggling it through Kasumbalesa,” he said.

When contacted for a comment, Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said she was aware of the matter but had not received a report from her officers by Press time.

Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge said there was no shortage of mealie-meal on the Copperbelt contrary to claims by United Party for National Development provincial chairperson Elisha Matambo.

Addressing journalists after checks in various retail outlets, Mr Musenge said that the commodity was readily available in Ndola and that there was no shortage as was reported in some sections of the media.

“Let us not play politics of misleading people. You cannot win elections by telling lies. Politics in the country have evolved and people want to see honest leaders. When things are difficult we will go to the people and tell them we have a challenge.

“There is a lot of mealie-meal and there are no queues, some of the queues are instigated. There is no shortage of mealie-meal on the Copperbelt and milling companies are working day and night to ensure that the commodity is available,” Mr Musenge said.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. ok so why are there queues for meal meal in Mazabuka ??? Is FRA (PF) only send maize to copperbelt and leaving southern province with nothing ???????????????????????????????

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  2. This is why i believe that mealie meal shortage is artificial due selfishness of some individuals. How do u export maize and mealie meal at the expense of your brothers and sisters?

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  3. This is what happens when you have bad policies in place…everyone saw this coming except the empty tins like Bo Lubinda and this ***** who okayed this; this maize being smuggled is not FRA maize it belongs to businessmen and the go where there is demand and high prices.
    You thought wasting money on Chinese imported solar hammer mills will solve the problem?

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  4. This is a stage managed operation. FEWSNET has told us there is 216000 mt already committed for export. Its the same maize FRA is loading on trucks & wagons & then staging the impoundings. Name the people & businessmen involved if it is real. Awe sure these guys learnt so much from James Franco’s The Interview. Or was it those trips to North Korea early on in their government.

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  5. The first dull suspect is Musenge.Why is he denying the obvious.Even PF media has told us there is a mealie meal crisis and Lubinda ha blamed it on the opposition.Why is the Copperbelt Minister denying that there is no shortage?Is he part of the smugglers?Opposition cant smuggle mealie Meal in this brutal regime.

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  6. The P F are stage managing this whole operation. F R A has run out of maize which they the government exported to Zimbabwe and Malawi and as someone mentioned these are private owners trying to get a better price for their maize in neighbouring countries. Here what the PF is trying to do is gain confidence from voters that they care and put all this in place just to gain popularity. Shame on a government that is so greedy and self centred that they will line their own pockets and watch us starve here.

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  7. Where are the pictures to support these claims.Is Zambia raiways involved in smuggling maize as is seen in the picture? There is no way ZR can transport smuggled mealie meal unless the mealie meal belongs to PF.

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  8. careful there is no guarantee that if they kicked out the Patriotic Front and voted into office the UPND, things will be better. This is because the policies of the PF and the policies of the UPND are exactly the same,” Kabimba said.

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  9. PF Black Delta chairperson Robert Kapakala and the group well done. Lets step up citizen arrest

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