Thursday, April 18, 2024

Critical shortage of Mealie Meal Hit some Parts of the Copperbelt Province, 25Kg fetching K250

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A critical shortage of mealie meal has hit some parts of the Copperbelt Province with consumers queuing up when buying Zambia’s staple commodity.

People in selected parts of Ndola, Chililabombwe, Chingola, Kalulushi and Mufulira have complained over the inadequate supply of mealie meal coupled with hiked prices in retail shops.

People were found queuing up for a mealie meal at Pamodzi Market, Chifubu and Kawama Markets in Ndola.

In most retail shops, a 25 KG of breakfast mealie meal was fetching between K250 and K255 in Ndola’s Kawama, Chifubu and Pamodzi Townships.

Some consumers said the rise in the cost of mealie meal and inadequate supply was regrettable.

“You have seen the long lines for yourself.Mealie meal should be available and at affordable prices. We have suffered as consumers,” a consumer told reports at Pamozi Market in Ndola.

Meanwhile, Copperbelt Minister Elisha Matambo has described the mealie meal situation in the province as a crisis.

Mr. Matambo has undertaken an impromptu visit to some of the Ndola and Luanshya based millers to ascertain the cause of the mealie-meal crisis in the Copperbelt Province.

He conducted an on the spot check of the mealie-meal situation in Luanshya at Antelope Milling Company and Ndola’s milling plants.

Mr. Matambo told millers to be transparent when offloading mealie-meal on the market and that they must do it timely.

“We undertook an impromptu visit to some of the Ndola based millers to ascertain the cause of the mealie-meal crisis in the Copperbelt Province. We warned whoever that will be found wanting smuggling mealie-meal on the Copperbelt that they will be visited by the law because mealie-meal is important for every citizen and the government will not allow unscrupulous people to continue sabotaging our food security policy. Anyone who will be found guilty of smuggling mealie-meal will have their licenses revoked and their vehicles forfeited to the state. We reiterate our position that millers must also be transparent, when offloading mealie-meal on the market and done timely,” Mr. Matambo commented.

He further warned mealie meal retailers not to be part of those sabotaging the Zambian government over the undying situation.

Mr. Matambo assured the members of the public on the Copperbelt that the Task- Force team on mealie-meal will be on the ground 24/7 to monitor and redress the mealie-meal situation in the Copperbelt Province.

“We also took time to advise the retailers not to be part of those sabotaging the Zambian government over mealie-meal in the Copperbelt Province. We appeal to all members of the public to come forward and report any suspicious vehicle or group of people smuggling mealie-meal because they are causing variations in mealie meal prices which is negatively affecting community members in affording the staple food. We further urged our millers to peg their mealie-meal prices at the right prices and their commodity must be readily available on the market all the time.”

“We want to assure the members of the public that our Task- Force team on mealie-meal will be on the ground 24/7 to monitor and redress the mealie-meal situation in the Copperbelt Province. During our tour, we found out that all millers were selling the bag of mealie- meal at K175 and K185 with capacity to produce between 2500 and 5000 bags of mealie-meal per day. We were accompanied by Ndola District Commissioner Mr Joseph Phiri, Copperbelt Province Commissioner of Police, Mr Peacewell Mweemba, officials from Zambia National Service, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), officers from Immigration Department and other stakeholders,” Mr. Matambo said.

Rampant smuggling of mealie meal to DR Congo where consumers buy at exorbitant prices is contributing to shortages especially in border towns that include Ndola, Mufulira and Chililabombwe.

In the last two months, Police in Ndola and Mufulira alone have impounded over 3000 bags of mealie meal suspected to be destined for smuggling to DR Congo.

12 COMMENTS

    • They said” Mulefimba mupoke”…..and they also “mulenya mulelapila”..what ever these bemba sayings mean. Can one bemba explain please!!

  1. In the last two months, Police in Ndola and Mufulira alone have impounded over 3000 bags of mealie meal suspected to be destined for smuggling to DR Congo…. This is just a drop in ocean and cannot cause the shortages we are seeing. For the information the ferrying of mealie meal or maize grain into the DRC has always been there but we have not seen this kind of nonsense. Something else is causing the problem but these pompous clowns will not admit.

  2. Bushe in Zambia, can’t we move away from maize meals? There are other sources of starch available like rice, cassava, potatoes, Sorghum, Millet, etc.
    If the commodity is in scarce supply, why can’t the government suspend export for now until the current harvest is marketed?

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  3. When we warned people not to vote for upnd they thought it was out of jealous. What is disturbing is we have a government that doesn’t believe in taking responsibility for them it’s play time even on matters that are extremely serious. Now Pf under the leadership of Edgar Lungu were producting bumper harvest after bumper harvest, because firstly they cared for people secondly they had plan. When Pf was leaving office maize grain stock was kept to be used for the next two farming seasons. What did upnd do they started exporting the grain, without considering how the next farming season will be. These have failed because they don’t have the interest of the people at heart.

  4. Not k250 but k300 something must be done ,this is urgent,can you all minsters help the minister of Agriculture and minister of internal security to arrest this situation.

  5. Its everywhere in the country….LUSAKA , SOLWEZI, NDOLA, KASAMA, CHIPATA, MANSA, LUANSHYA, ZAMBEZI, CHILILABOMBWE, KITWE, MUFURILA, PETAUKE, MONGU, ……THERE IS NO MEALIE MEAL!!!!!
    BA MUTOLO PHIRI…..WHAT IS HAPPENING KANSHI!!!!!

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