Chief Government Spokesman Chishimba Kambwili
Chief Government Spokesman Chishimba Kambwili

THE Government has unearthed a scandal involving milling companies that are taking mealie-meal straight to Kasumbalesa border in Chililabombwe and stocking the commodity in their warehouses.

The mealie meal is later smuggled into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were it is fetching around US$14 (K140.00) per bag.

This has caused the shortage of mealie meal in major towns around the Copperbelt.

Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said the shortage of mealie meal in towns such as Chililabombwe, Chingola, Kitwe and others, was a result of milling companies opting to deliver the commodity to Kasumbalesa where almost all of them had warehouses.

Mr Kambwili who yesterday together with officers from the Zambia National service (ZNS) conducted an undercover mission around Kasumbalesa from 01:30 hours to 04:30 hours, was dismayed at the high levels of smuggling.

Mr Kambwili who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister had difficulties to comprehend when he found almost all the milling companies had warehouses fully stocked with mealie-meal within the border post premises.

As if that was not enough, the border post premises was also characterised by a number of other private warehouses, which were equally fully stocked with mealie meal.

“I think going forward, we have to either regulate the amount of mealie meal going to Kasumbalesa border or completely ban the export of the commodity,” Mr Kambwili said.

Meanwhile a Taskforce comprising officials from the ministries of Home Affairs and Agriculture has been formed to establish the owners of several trucks impounded on suspicion of being used to smuggle mealie meal and maize bags.

Recently, a number of trucks laden with mealie meal en route to neighbouring countries were impounded, a situation that led to the Government to impose a ban on exports to facilitate a physical verification of maize quantities in the country.

Police deputy spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said in an interview yesterday that the aim of the Taskforce was to establish the owners of the trucks and verify if they had valid maize and mealie meal export permits.

Mr Hamoonga said police officers were alert and would ensure that they arrest anyone found wanting during the maize and mealie meal export ban period.

He said the owners of the trucks who would not be found with genuine maize export permits would face the law.

“There is a Taskforce that has been formed comprising officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture. As it is now, the impounded trucks are being scrutinised to ascertain the owners and also establish the validity of the maize export permits. If they are found with stolen or fake permits they will face the law,” Mr Hamoonga said.

Mr Hamoonga said police would not take lightly people who willfully abrogated the law.

Meanwhile another truck carrying over 100 bags of mealie meal has been impounded in Ndola by alert members of the public.

And a milling company, Chimanga Changa, has blacklisted two retailers for selling mealie-meal above the stipulated price of K75.

Both Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga and Copperbelt PF security wing chairperson Albert Kapakala confirmed the confiscation of the mealie meal destined for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ms Katanga said the Mitsubishi Canter registration number BCA 904 was found with 157 bags of mealie meal destined for Sakanya boarder en route to DRC.

Meanwhile Chimanga Changa spokesperson Ozwell Nyoni said the two retailers have been blacklisted from purchasing the commodity from Chimanga Changa after it was discovered that they were abrogating the company’s directive.

Mr Nyoni named the two retailers as AK Groceries of Twapia and Tusekelele of Old Mushili.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. MR MINISTER, DRC IS AN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, SEIZE IT NOW AND WE WILL STOP TALKING ABOUT COPPER.

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    • Another minister says there is no shortage on the copperbelt, and then another minister called kambwili says shortage is caused by export to Congo. So is he accepting that there is shortage?

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    • When I said PF members are behind this scum PF minions doubt me here.

      The whole minister with police at his disposal is shy to name and shame those culprits caught smuggling maize because they are all PF goons who sponsor PF activities in the CB..

      Police spokes person has confirmed that there are PF top members given permits to export maize and mealimeal to congo. What a shame, this PF is anti business. After killing agriculture they now resort to lying and rapant smuggling.

      Kambwili is involved in this scum indirectly and the Lungu is fully aware of the scum.

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    • THIS IS NOW PART OF THE TRUTH SOLVING THE MAIZE SHORTAGE PUZZLE, NOT THE ILLOGICAL PF ACCUSATION AGAINST UPND THAT THEY WERE THE CAUSE OF THE SHORTAGE. IN ADDITION TO MILLERS BEING IN THIS MAIZE SCANDAL, KAMBWILI LEFT ANOTHER CRITICAL PIECE OF INFORMATION WHICH INCLUDES A NUMBER OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS BEING EQUALLY INVOLVED IN THIS SYNDICATE. PF MEANS DOOM FOR ZAMBIA. THESE GUYS IN PF ARE HIGHLY CORRUPT AND SERIOUS LOOTERS. IF WE STILL ALLOW THEM TO RUN THIS COUNTRY AFTER AUGUST 11, THEN WE HAVE OURSELVES TO BLAME.

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    • But stopping the smugglers is your job as government. A government with armed forces cant be mourning about smugglers. How can PF government fail to secure the borders? Maybe they should send the PF violent cadres to do a better job. The soldiers and policemen are hungry and cant do their work properly while PF cadres are eating well.

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    • The Cruel Humble Leader
      Kambwili is talking as though he has solved a big issue when smuggling itself is a sign of failure.The first responsibility of government is to secure the country.Failure to stop smuggling is more the reason why PF must go.

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  2. Trucks of mealie meal being impounded as though it is cocaine they are ferrying. Zambia as a country should be in a situation of being proud that they have to sale the maize but poor planing, no inputs on time, late payment of farmers etc, has caused farmers to produce less plus drought. So ba kambwili nkalani che zee

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  3. 1 KINGS 3 vs. 5 the lord appeared to him {Solomon (Lungu)} in the dream and asked him; what would you like me to give you? Vs 9 give me wisdom to rule your pipo (Zambians). The lord was pleased that Solomon ( Lungu)had not asked for riches (like HH and GBM) I will do what you have asked for I will give you what you have asked for. Chapter 5 Solomon (Lungu) prepares to build the Temple. Come August 11 Solomon (Lungu) as indicated in chapter 6 is coming to build the Temple. Solomon’s enemy starts with HA (1 Kings 11:14-16) and lungu’s enemy starts with HA. Will the Edomites (UPND) and their leader win?

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    • Assage

      You ve lost your marbles you need to seek mental health diagnosis.

      Ignore my advice at your peril for what I say comes to pass.

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    • STOP USING THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD IN VEIN. LUNGU BEING PRESIDENT WAS A FORCED ISSUE, HE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO RULE THIS COUNTRY. FIRE AND BRIMSTONE ON YOU PAID FALSE PROPHETS.

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  4. In future all politicians should be trained in elementary Economics. There is no such thing as smuggling, just understand the law of demand and supply. Government should have been talking of how to capitalize on huge opportunities created by the exponential demand for maize in the region. You have a lot of water than other countries. Support Irrigated Winter Cropping NOW. Everyone will emerge a winner. Farmers will make big monies while our neighbours and the region will be saved from starvation. Government will in turn make big bucks through taxes (if you make the exporting process simple).

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  5. Hon Kambwili, job weldone on checking on smugglers. Do simple economics and export excess to gain much wanted forex. zambia is sitting on gold were farming is concerned. remove bad elements in the maize handling like the chola kafwabulula whos built an empire at fra with his relatives frank mwape and remove cadres from handling maize. get rid of them, put in new pipo to handle and zambia will be smiling.

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    • Nice one you have just confirmed what I have always thought that PF top cadres are behind this maize scum..

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  6. Maize is gold, but millers exporting subsidized FRA maize when Zambians who grew the maize are grappling with mealie meal shortages is wrong and very wrong. Let millers or any business house buy direct from framers at harvest time and later export to countries where demand is high – that is acceptable, of course without jeopardizing our food security. Some scrupulous and compromised chaps in the inner circles have hijacked the process and want to derail government effort to mitigate mealie meal shortage.

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  7. “Mr Kambwili who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister had difficulties to comprehend when he found almost all the milling companies had warehouses fully stocked with mealie-meal within the border post premises.”
    was this stock meant for export or smuggling? How can a milling company put up a ware house for smuggling? were are the authorities when these warehouses were being built up?

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  8. Iwe tea car ra Just tell us how you going stop smuggling with your cluless,visionless,brainless,useless,hopeless and a drunkard Wrungu.

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  9. …taskforce just to establish the owners of the trucks..??…we are not serious as a people…where was the minister of agriculture when Kambwili was spying at the border…?…

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    • …children don’t entertain the reasons why food is not on the table from their parents….salaries have been delayed, mealie meal is not available, there is no ZESCO…that is all rubbish to them…..all what they want is to see food on the table period…..so all this spying at the border, blaming millers and their agents is just nonsense…all I want is to see availability of the commodity everywhere…I freely walk into a shop buy a bag or whatever number I wish to buy and off I go home without any pandemonium or commotions…

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  10. Is this really a scandal or just business sense? You sell where where you will maximise profit. Simple economics

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    • you hopeless, how do you sell the only tin of mealie meal in your house and say ni simple economics chabe??? Foolish law of demand and supply! There are variables that should remain unchanged in order for that theory to stand but hopeless chaps in upnd who claim to be economists just sing “supply and demand” without even understanding the underlying factors to support that theory. Please understand that. Even failed g7 GBM has become a renowned economist in UPND.

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  11. This Government buffles me , instead of taking agriculture seriously and take advantage of the demanding market in surrounding countries , theyr busy chasing poor Zambians . Let us run agriculture side by side with copper . kwasila!!

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  12. Comment:
    i fail to under stand how pf government operates. in
    n yesterday pf newspaper there was a photo copperbelt minister mwenya musenge in a supermarket saying there is no shortage of mealie meal few a hours later kabwili is saying the opposite. talking of having uncoordinator government.

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  13. Aim wonderng forming a task force just to identify the owner of those trucks what is the meang of this buyng some time so that ownership is changed of those trucks stop that nonsese arest that minister period

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  14. Zambia Police just spend time forming task forces instead of working. We already have so many task forces, victim support unit, Flying Squad, Mobile Units, Road Traffic, etc. Why?

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  15. There is no smuggling here. Unless you are saying cross-border trading on mealie-meal has now been termed as such. A proper government would have seen this as an opportunity, just as the millers have seen it. The Congolese cross into Zed and buy their merchandise, all the millers have done is to take the product closer to the market. If we encourage this trade at K140 per bag and let the bag of maize fetch economic levels, this will boost farming on the Copperbelt and drive value for the farmers. Ba Kashimba Chimbwili, take advantage of this and earn us some forex.

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  16. Ati Mr Kambwili yesterday together with officers from the Zambia National service (ZNS) conducted an undercover mission around Kasumbalesa from 01:30 hours to 04:30 hours! Can Kashimba Chimbwili really go undercover? Uh, uh… Tell me you are joking! However it makes economic sense to quickly sell at K140 than at K75. What is important though, is are those millers getting FRA maize or are they using maize bought from the free market to produce meal for export?

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  17. Radio stations should start playing that song entitled “Smuggler Apwisha ubunga.” It used to be a hit during the UNIP era.

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  18. Twebeniko fimbi mwati ni smuggling story? Everyday since Zambia was born. Its a stuck record

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  19. “There is a Taskforce that has been formed comprising officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture. As it is now, the impounded trucks are being scrutinised to ascertain the owners and also establish the validity of the maize export permits. If they are found with stolen or fake permits they will face the law,”… AND WHAT IF THEY’LL EXPORTERS WILL BE FOUND WITH VALID DOCUMENTATION FOR THE STUFF, WILL YOU AND YOUR FELLOW DANDER HEADS GET A SALARY FOR THE TIME YOU WASTED OUTSIDE YOUR JURISDICTION?

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  20. THIS WILL MINIMIZE CELEBRATIONS FOR THOSE WHO WISH FOR THE WASTE TO HAPPEN SO THAT THEY GAIN CHEAP POLITICAL MILEAGE.

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  21. Just arrest the situation, the export nonsense can start later. I need my 5 fingers on my table fairly cheap. Y’all C/belt, Eastern, Muchinga and Southern MPs, DCs and Government officials on your toes now. Do your jobs working at national food security with partriotism and without fail. Do’nt express shock or be amazed that this comodity is fetching more kwachas in Congo or elsewhere; this s.h.i.t happens always this time of the year. We love our neighbouring countries dearly but we got to be full first. Love ourselves before we love others. SECURE OUR CORN!!

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  22. Ba Kambwili do not cheat you just came to clear your mealie meal loaded truck. We know you are in this game. Strangely Why would you (MInister of information and …..) be interested to check what is happening in another Ministry to the level of even disturbing you sleep. You hipocrity.

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  23. The so-called smuggling goes on all the time. If there had been a bumper harvest and government had not exported thousands upon thousands of tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe, you wouldn’t have noticed it. Why is everyone ignoring the fact that government started exporting so much maize on a govt. to govt. agreement with Zimbabwe even when it did not verify how much maize Zambia actually had? Smell a big fat rat? Remind you of over priced road contracts? Unaccounted for expenditure in ministries? Huge amounts on a trip to the USA? Constitution signing millions? Any accounting transparency in all of this? Anyone know? In short, there is nothing mysterious about anything the PF government has a hand in. Everything it touches turns to dust!

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