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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Heightened smuggling at Chirundu border threatening food security – PS

Economy Heightened smuggling at Chirundu border threatening food security - PS

Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga has bemoaned heightened levels of smuggling of maize and maize products on the Chirundu border which he says is threatening food security.

Mr Kamanga observed that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is struggling to meet its one million metric tons maize purchase target due to rampant smuggling of the commodity across borders.

He observed during the launch of the District Food Security (maize and mealie meal anti-smuggling) task force at Mthudzi lodge in Chirundu that smuggling has been on the rise due to food deficit in the Southern African development Community (SADC) region which he said has been putting pressure on Zambia’s food security due to smuggling of the commodity.

“We have witnessed trucks moving on pretext that they are moving to districts within the Province but have been impounded at Chirundu border, a clear indication that they are destined to other countries,” he said.

Mr Kamanga also observed that Chirundu being one of the busiest exit points in Lusaka is a potential conduit for smuggling of maize and other food products and as such a taskforce to curtail these activities is important.

“The objective of the taskforce is to safeguard national food security by curbing illegal export or smuggling of maize and mealie meal to other countries. There is need for strict monitoring of international borders and mounting of checkpoints in strategic locations such as Chilanga and Kafue districts.” He said.

Mr Kamanga noted that Zambia has been food self-sufficient for close to two decades but was quick to mention that some neighboring countries have been experiencing periodic food deficit putting pressure on Zambia’s national food security.

The PS observed that Lusaka province has never been a hot spot because of the distance to the nearest borders.

“But after 23 trucks were impounded, it came to a realization that a lot of smuggling has been going on in the Province,” he said.

He wondered how much maize and mealie meal has been smuggled out through the borders before the discovery of the illegal activities.

Mr Kamanga says it is therefore the duty of the taskforce to ensure that the maize produced and stored within Lusaka province is secure by putting in place measures that will curtail smuggling of maize out of the country.

He has since advised the team in Chirundu district to take their task seriously by ensuring that they strictly monitor movement of maize and maize meal in the border district.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Cage them papa cage them please. Elo the heat of chirundu no one needs such unnecessary stress. For me I would recommend just slapping

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  2. QUOTE: “Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga has bemoaned heightened levels of smuggling of maize and maize products on the Chirundu border which he says is threatening food security.”
    I GET SICK TO THE STOMACH WITH THESE STATEMENTS SUCH AS IN THE ABOVE QUOTE. Mr Kamanga, please, be told that it does not threaten food security. To the contrary, 1. it strongly indicate an opportunity for business to earn the scurse and cried for foreign exchange to enrich the country and pay foreign debts, 2. tells the nation that farming is the right way to go, 3. It tell in no uncertain term, IDC that it is high time they started setting gigantic multi-grain milling plants to process all types of grain in all eight border towns with a fully comprehensive out-grower base to feed into these…

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  3. QUOTE: “… to feed into these milling plants. This smuggling song as always been sung ever since I was born in the Kaunda regime. Do our technocrats really think? I always ask myself this question. PLEASE, do not condemn the smugglers. Condemn yourselves for not being basic problem solvers. Smugglers are just delivering to you the information that there’s business in their country and Zambia does not even need to spend money on market research in these grain business. It is being given to you on a silver platta. BWAFYA SANA MU CHALO CHESU.

  4. Except for Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga everyone who lives in Zambia knows smuggling is rife at Chirundu border because corruption is rife. Corruption is rife everywhere in Zambia. Deal with corruption and the country will be alright but who has the energy and the time? Noone so we just have to live with it.

  5. Legalize the export to empower the farmers. Let the farmers choose where to sell their produce, If Zim wants the produce let the farmers export then you can say that you have empowered them. You want them to continue selling to FRA at low prices? come on people should be free to sell where they make profits.

  6. On the contrary, I actually believe it’s a business opportunity for our local farmers if other neighbouring countries are in shortage of the commodity; provided they cultivate enough for the country and still be permitted to export. At the end of the day, remember that these farmers are also in business and that’s their livelihood therefore export must be permitted but regulated.

  7. Indeed for every problem there is a silver lining to it, what our technocrats need to understand is that while they are trying to put a plug on smuggling please empower the FRA to be and important import and export company of food to safeguard our internal food security. When we have excess, they export in lean years they will have belt reserves to import.

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