The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Brian Mundubile, has criticized Republican Vice President Mutale Nalumango’s proposal for Zambians to eat roller meals if they cannot afford breakfast. On a recent appearance on Radio Phoenix, Nalumango insisted that roller meal was the best option, citing that other opposition leaders eat it.
Mundubile, who is also the PF Presidential Candidate, took exception to Nalumango’s proposal, calling it “teasing” and lacking practical solutions to reducing the cost of mealie meals, which is a staple food in Zambia. He stated that the PF had practical solutions to the problem, such as organizing milling plants in order to reduce the cost of mealie meals.
“If I may take you back, during the PF government, they promised to reduce the cost of mealie meal and they went ahead and acquired 2000 solar-powered milling plants and a number of industrial milling plants constructed in provinces such as Southern and Muchinga,” Mundubile said. He added that the cost of Green Eagles mealie meal was lower in the Southern Province due to the industrial milling plant built by the PF administration and run by the Zambia National Service (ZNS) in Monze.
Mundubile also pointed out that the government recently commissioned another plant in Mongu District in Western Province, and that it was expected that the price of mealie meal in that area would be low. He questioned why the UPND, which is the current ruling party, promised to reduce the cost of mealie meal without presenting a plan for practical solutions.
“The questions that beg is that in the case of the UPND, when they were promising cheaper mealie meal, what exactly did they have in mind? It is therefore, unfortunate that her honor the Vice President is making proposals that are seemingly meant to tease the Zambian people,” he said.
Nalumango, however, countered Mundubile’s criticisms, stating that she did not look down on the people when she suggested eating roller meal. Nalumango stated that eating roller meal should be encouraged because it is cheaper and has a lot of nutritional value. She also explained that roller meal is what she and her family eat, and that she has a duty to promote healthy diets.
“The roller meal issue has been blown out of proportion because I made the statement when mealie meal was an issue in the country,” Nalumango said during the “Let the People Talk” discussion program on Radio Phoenix. She added that millers should not inflate the price of maize, saying that if they did so, the government would have no option but to intervene.
Nalumango acknowledged that the cost of mealie meals is high but that the government is working on measures to stabilize its price. She also said that the government is not responsible for setting the price of fuel, but that it is doing all it can to reduce it.
“For us, it is important to have drugs and free education. Most nations that have developed have invested in education for skills training,” Nalumango said. She added that the fuel monthly review does not increase the price of fuel, but only shows what is happening on the international market and helps the government to see what is happening.
Mr Mundubile called on the government to take the issue of the high cost of mealie meals seriously and find lasting solutions to ensure that prices are reduced. Nalumango, on the other hand, stated that the government is working on reducing the cost of fuel and making education and drugs accessible to all, which are also important factors in life