The ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) in Ndola district on the Copperbelt has accused police officers stationed at Kasumbalesa Border Post of conniving with traders to smuggle mealie-meal into neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The UPND District Spokesperson, David Zimba, expressed concern over the sudden rise in mealie-meal smuggling into DRC and questioned how the smugglers managed to cross the border without being arrested by the police stationed there.
Mr. Zimba called on the relevant authorities to investigate police officers deployed at Kasumbalesa, where smuggling is rampant, as they appear to be compromised. Meanwhile, Ndola district has experienced a shortage of 25kg mealie-meal bags in most retail outlets in the last four days due to rampant smuggling. The anti-smuggling team impounded over 3,000 25kg bags of mealie meal destined for DRC in the last five days in the district.
However, Copperbelt Police Commanding Officer Peacewell Mweemba has dismissed the allegations made by the UPND that some police officers manning Kasumbalesa Border Post are compromised. Mr. Mweemba said that the police are conducting regular patrols to control the situation and are on top of things.
In related news, the anti-smuggling team in Ndola impounded 3,197 bags of mealie-meal destined to be smuggled into DRC. Mr. Mweemba said that on Monday, March 27th, 2023, the anti-smuggling team impounded a light truck in Chiwala area of Ndola loaded with 201 by 25kg bags of mealie-meal. On Tuesday, March 28th, 2023, the team impounded a Blue Scania Light Truck loaded with 400 bags of mealie-meal at Miami Garage Masala in the industrial area. On Thursday, March 30th, 2023, the anti-smuggling team, during patrols, managed to impound two Sino trucks laden with 1,896 bags of 25kg of mealie-meal, which were concealed for the purposes of being smuggled to DRC through Chiwala area. On Friday, March 31st, 2023, the team intercepted a tipper truck Toton Auman loaded with 700 bags of 25kg mealie-meal.
Mr. Mweemba reiterated the police’s commitment to ensuring that smuggling of mealie-meal into DRC is curbed through routine patrols. He added that the police have identified and sealed all points being used to access DRC.