Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo
Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo

Some residents of the Copperbelt have heaped the blame on the massive wave of smuggling of Mealie meal into the Congo DR to failure by the leadership in the province to control the situation.

In random interviews in selected towns of Ndola, Chingola, Mufulira and Chililabombwe, the residents feared that Copperbelt might face mealie meal shortages if smuggling is not curtailed.

Evaristo Mbewe, 51, a resident of Chingola said he has never experienced the scale of smuggling of mealie meal than what is currently happening.

Mr Mbewe, a small scale miner said the Provincial Administration led by Minister Japhen Mwakalombe and Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe have lamentably failed to control smuggling.

“I have lived here for more than 42 years. Yes, even under Kaunda we had smuggling but what I am seeing today is something I have never seen before. Bags of mealie meal are leaving this Province in the night and in the day using illegal paths on bicycles, wheelbarrows and trucks. The situation is totally out of control,” Mr Mbewe said.

And Mary Nondo of Ndola wondered why it had to take Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to come and summon Millers on the Copperbelt over the smuggling issue.

“This goes to show that the people we have here on the Copperbelt are sleeping. Why does it have to take Mr Kampyongo to take steps to arrest the situation? Where was the P.S all this time when mealie meal was flying out of the Province?” she questioned.

Ms. Nondo further claimed that some leaders in the Patriotic Front on the Copperbelt could be benefitting from the smuggling cartels.
“They are failing to act before they are benefiting but is not fair but it is us the ordinary people suffering. The prices have gone up too much because of this same smuggling.”

Meanwhile, a youth of Mufulira has suggested that the Zambian government and their DRC counterpart should enter into a formalized government to government deal over mealie meal exports.

“We saw this happen when Bowman Lusambo was Minister for Copperbelt, he negotiated with the Ministry of Agriculture and the regional government in Katanga and Zambian millers started exporting legally into the Congo and that brought down the level of smuggling, we even saw then Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya touring Kasumbalesa in the company of Mr Lusambo to ensure that the exports were moving smoothly,” said Peter Chipulu.

He added, “without a formal export deal, we are afraid all the mealie meal here will be wiped out. Threats on Millers by Mr Kampyongo will not work.”

Chipulu also blamed the Provincial leadership for failing to protect the interest of the people of the Copperbelt.

“They are in those office but they are clueless on what needs to be done. Both the Minister and the P.S have just been watching this situation escalate, they cannot even do night patrols the way Bowman Lusambo and P.S Sikwela used to do. I remember in their efforts to control smuggling, Bowman Lusambo and his P.S were caught up in gun fire around 01: Hours at the boarder, that is the commitment we are looking for on this issue and not just sitting in those comfortable offices drinking coffee.”

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19 COMMENTS

    • Now this is the true picture leading to maize meal escalating prices.
      From where I stand after every fortnight, I see with my naked eyes some poor Zambians who have taken a chance of enriching themselves with K360 price tag on a 25Kg bag of breakfast maize mill across the border. I see ShopOwners facilitating this by ordering big numbers of consignments from millers than usual, meaning they too are having a cut directly or indirectly. I see l
      Law Enforcers watching the situation arms akimbo in a ” you scrach my back, I will scratch yours” fashion. Everyone wants to get rich from Sakanya, Kipushi, Kasumbalesa, Mukambo etc and areas stretching some meters from these hot spots. Self inflicted wounds. What is Government doing?

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    • Same sh#t, different day! This country will never change!! Everyone is so backward and clueless. So pointless. Mealie meal talk all the bloody time! Have you heard of other foods?

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  1. Meanwhile Ba Lungu on his way to Japan.
    You know what monkeys do as soon as the field owner goes out to drink, they jump in maize field.
    Just 1 barking dog Kampyongo he is trying, but can’t spot dispense those monkeys, need master to bring more dogs and keep instructing…. swa swa swa swa swa, even at night!

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    • Iwe grow up and use you intellect for once. The president does not have to do everything. That is how dictators are born. The copperbelt leadership and Kampyongo are at fault. Not surprised as Kampyongo never does anything correctly.

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    • Ba Nzelu naimwe the president sets the tone and has to have a grip on what is happening in the country. His dullness is the one causing this. The buck stops with his empty head!

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  2. Everything is President this President that what about all those ministers what are their duties bakandile bafula who are doing nothing to arrest this maize meal smuggling issue

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  3. There is no mealie meal smuggling. Just some lazy individuals who’ve been mis-managing the economy since 2015. If there is, why aren’t the effects the same all year round?

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    • Please let’s try to (b?e (factual. Mielie mal prices are markert driven. In abadunce we always experience lower prices. Do you want the government to reintroduce price controls? On one side you calling for higher prices to the farmers and at the same time lower prices for the commodity?

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  4. Indeed , there’s always been smuggling, PF mismanagement is the agricultural area is to blame……they spent $250 million on solar mills that can only mill 8 bags a day, on a good day of sunshine ……

    With that money they could have built more than 10 large dams and irrigation canels in designated farming blocks to produce maize all year round

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    • Zambians and mealie meal. Did you know that Zambia is one of the few countries were their staple food is not indigenous to their country? Did you also know that mealie meal has no nutritional value? Wake-up and stop eating maize meal.

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  5. Kampyongo is employed to foresee law enforcement. It’s his responsibility to deploy his men in uniform to halt smuggling in the border area.

    Let’s us also not forget that, some security personnel will also take advantage of this situation to cash in.

    Our friends are taught to use their initiative. This is their golden opportunity to also cash in.

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  6. ‘Ndifye bwino palwandi a song by Nasty D’ Everyone wants to be rich so give farmers farming inputs in time and don’t blame abanenu buchuchi bulenga doing ifintu ifibi.

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  7. Copperbelt Minister ali ndwìiiiiiiiiiii
    Copperbelt Permanent Secretary ali ndwiiiiiii.

    Meantime status quo.

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  8. To solve mealie meal smuggling. It is very simple.
    1. Anyone caught with the commodity should be expressly tried in court and given a 20 year jail sentence.
    2. A milling company found or engaged in smuggling must be forfeited to the state. This will deter organised smuggling. I was recently in Congo and I found that most of the mealie meal there is from Millers in Lusaka. Even mealie meal from choma Milling. Smuggling is well organised. ZNS have been compromised. Let Zambia army take over with the help of ZAF choppers. The border area from Ndola all the way up to solwezi is being used.

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  9. Same sh#t, different day! This country will never change!! Everyone is so backward and clueless. So pointless. Mealie meal talk all the bloody time! Have you heard of other foods?

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