Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sean Tembo Urges President Hichilema to Suspend Mealie Meal Exports to Address Food Insecurity

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The Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) has challenged the United Party for National Development (UPND) government to suspend mealie meal exports to neighboring countries in a bid to address the ongoing shortages and unaffordable prices of the staple food in the country.

In a press statement issued by PeP President Sean Tembo, the party called on President Hakainde Hichilema to admit that the policy of allowing mealie meal exports throughout the year is wrong and has undermined the food security of the nation. The statement further warned that if the President remains adamant on the issue, citizens may decide to protest against the continued shortages of mealie meal across the country.

The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) has admitted the shortage of mealie meal in some parts of the country, mainly in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces. According to MAZ President Andrew Chintala, the shortage is due to the continued illegal smuggling of the commodity to neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. The government has, however, assured the nation that Zambia is food secure beyond the next harvest and expects mealie meal prices to gradually reduce.

A check by some media houses in various retail outlets and mini markets in Lusaka has revealed that 25kg bags of mealie meal have completely run out with only 5kg bags in stock. Some Lusaka residents have expressed concern over the persistent shortage of the commodity and are calling on authorities to urgently address the situation.

The PeP statement further states that the continued shortages as well as unaffordable prices of mealie meal across the country are totally unacceptable and pose a risk to the nation’s security. It is, therefore, the duty of the government to take necessary steps to ensure that the local market is supplied with enough mealie meal.

PeP has urged President Hakainde Hichilema to act promptly to address the situation and suspend mealie meal exports to neighboring countries. The party has called on the people of Zambia to no longer tolerate being subjected to hunger and misery by a President who has no idea of how to run a country.

The Millers Association of Zambia has assured the public that they will put in place measures aimed at addressing the situation and ensuring price stability in the market.

8 COMMENTS

    • So what are you seeing now? If I were you (Upnd strategist) I concentrate on how smuggling of mealie meal can cause shortages or is it smuggling that is causing shortages or is there something else that is causing shortages. For your information smuggling has never stopped. The only difference is that in the recent past we have had more than excess of maize and its products therefore people didn’t even bother (about smuggling).

  1. This govt is in trouble. The Kwacha is performing very badly . They are trying everything possible to keep it affloat. One way is to encourage exports. They tried to export electrictity….We experienced black outs and load shedding. The stopped exporting power , load shedding dissapeared but the Kwacha fell against the dollar. They resorted to exporting maize/Mealie meal as as way of bringing in dollars. The Kwacha picked a bit of strength ….but created a serious shortage of the staple food . Musokotwane and Kalyalaya are not sure what to do with the Kwacha now…. Yes they have no choice but stop maize exports to avoid a security concern regarding the staple food.

  2. I don’t support calls to stop the export of mealie meal whether it’s official or through smuggling. If we have enough maize as announced by Mtolo Phiri then what’s required is to enforce productions quotas by millers. They shouldn’t produce for export before they meet the quota for local consumption. The higher price paid by the Congolese is an opportunity for dealers to make more money. KK failed to fight smuggling, even HH will fail if he employs UNIP tactics

  3. Some people laughed at Sean when he presented alternative budgets, but what this did is compel him to gather facts about our economic status and also made him appreciate how government works. If only UPND did the same when they were in opposition they would have been better prepared for the challenges

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