Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The UPND Government has been the Biggest Smuggler of Maize and Must Take Responsibility-Monde

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Patriotic Front (PF) Presidential Candidate Hon Greyford Monde has accused the government of being the biggest smuggler of maize and called on them to take responsibility for the ongoing hunger crisis in the country. Monde, who is also the Patriotic Front (PF) Presidential Candidate, criticized the government for their inconsistent agricultural policies and their desire for profits on strategic national food reserves.

Monde stated that the government should stop accusing small scale traders and take responsibility for their actions. The government has recently called on millers to begin importing mealie meal from neighbouring countries, which is an indication of the severity of the situation in Zambia. It is a taboo in Zambia to see government restricting people on the number of mealie meal bags to buy.

Kitwe and Kalulushi districts in Zambia have been hit hard by the mealie-meal shortage, and the government has stepped in to provide relief. The Zambia National Service Milling plant in Choma has supplied four trucks of mealie-meal to the affected areas, with each truck carrying 1,200 bags.

The mealie-meal is being sold at K175 for breakfast meal and K155 for roller meal in Kitwe’s Chamboli market and Chimwemwe’s Twatasha Combined School. The District Commissioner for Kitwe, Lawrence Mwanza, warned members of the public against smuggling the mealie-meal provided by the government, and urged them to consume it instead.

Chimwemwe Member of Parliament, Allan Banda, thanked the government for intervening in the mealie-meal crisis and urged the government to prioritize the local people’s needs.

Meanwhile, Twatasha Ward Councillor, Felix Mwinuna, lamented the unscrupulous traders’ actions, who were enticing shop owners to sell mealie-meal at inflated prices.

Some Kitwe residents have already begun buying mealie-meal from the government, and they have expressed their gratitude for the government’s actions. They thanked President Hakainde Hichilema and the local leadership for supplying the mealie-meal close to their doorsteps and urged the government to continue distributing it.

The Copperbelt Province is currently experiencing a shortage of mealie-meal due to the unavailability of maize in the province. The government’s intervention in Kitwe and Kalulushi is expected to mitigate the crisis in the short term. However, the government needs to address the underlying issue of the ongoing maize smuggling to ensure long-term food security for the country.

16 COMMENTS

  1. This accusation by Monde is actually hypocrisy at its worst. PF were the most corrupt at the issuing of export permits for grain exports and highly favoured PF cadres and milling companies that were PF affiliated. Monde don’t cheat people. In 2017 they set the price of maize at K60 pay 50kg and millers were selling mealie meal at K150. They allowed milling companies to export maize whilst farmers were prevented, what happens? No one wanted to grow maize in subsequent years. Only in 2020 did the market forces repair and as elections were drawing closer did they change their approach. But by that time farmers had lost faith in a flawed system.

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    • Vision2020, we are in the UPND era so let Government deal with the issue of mealie meal shortages, it’s time we stopped tagging the previous government into everything that is happening now.

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  2. Ctn…
    A free market must operate in a way that allows farmers who are the producers the right to sale where and to whom they choose to, failure to do that then who will grow maize?..No one…the reduction in farmers growing maize is due to the controlled marketing of the crop and failure of profiteering buyers to pay the actual production cost that farmers incur.

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    • You know why Upnd is failing? It’s because of the mentality like yours. If a mistake is being pointed out, the best thing for you to do is look at the mistake and learn from it. There wasn’t such a crisis during the PF tenure so why has it come about? Being defensive all the time is retrogressive.

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    • I did only half of what I do yearly because your government delivered the inputs in December and February 2023. Maybe to that’s okay, it’s the PF to blame?

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  3. I remember HH on Radio Icengelo saying “Ayi Valentine (Mukuka) is normal to sell mealie meal at ninety Kwacha. How are ma families going to survive?”

  4. @deja vu as a farmer you should know the importance of a market for your produce, what planet are you living on? Are you a farmer? Do you know the hell that the PF gave farmers during those days they created a situation were you had to sell your maize at a low price like it or not and as such few farmers went for maize, right here some of us used to complain about why farmers were prevented from exporting their maize. How do you think farmers will grow maize when you want to buy the commodity at a low price? We criticise where we have to but on this one I don’t see how the govt has messed up, the ones complaining are town dwellers who choose not to farm.

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    • 2020vision. I don’t sell FRA I sell private companies like Nutri, Muz Milling. They give good money especially Nutri.
      As of the start of this year farming, I will buy my own fertilizer so as not to lose time.

    • Mealie meal smuggling has been trending at Kasumbalesa (Zaire) since Kaunda rule.
      Chiluba closed this open sewer by producing more to cater for Congo’s appetite. We feed Zaireans. Troubles ensue when Zambia has less. Govt has been exporting such in large volumes. Unwittingly, tomorrow they will soon be importing what they were exporting yesterday. No logic. Accusing millers of hoarding? How? After you sell yours then you victimise others on what’s theirs?
      Mr. President, like you did on Chinese issues, we need a “reset bottom” on this one too.

    • Very very very poor reporting. Anyone who accuses must offer proof and the reporter has an obligation to get a response from the accused.

  5. Did the last two consecutive years’ floor prices for maize indicate that there is a fresh way in empowering farmers? Last year we had two FRA maize buying prices; neither was favourable.
    Coupled by poor FISP logistics, compounded by cyclones, this years grain suatainability will be compromised further.
    We once had “Paya Farmer”. Is there any change, now? I doubt. It’s even worse if you ask me.

  6. Vision2020, we are in the UPND era so let Government deal with the issue of mealie meal shortages, it’s time we stopped tagging the previous government into everything that is happening now.

  7. MONDE, YOU DONT WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE CARTEL THAT HAS PLANNED A SERIES OF SYNDICATES TO BE CARRIED OUT FOR THE SAKE OF RAISING ALLEGGATIONS AGAINST HH. ALL THIS SHORTAGE OF MEALIE MEALIS WELL COORDINATED BY PF. NEW DAWN PLZ CLOSE EXPORTATION OF MEAL AND VISIT WAREHOUSES OF SOME OF PF ASSOCITES YOU WILL FIND THOUSANDS OF BAG OF MAIZE AND MEALIE MEAL

  8. MONDE, YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE PF CARTEL THAT HAS PLANNED A SERIES OF SYNDICATES TO BE CARRIED OUT FOR THE SAKE OF RAISING ALLEGGATIONS AGAINST HH. ALL THIS SHORTAGE OF MEALIE MEALIS WELL COORDINATED BY PF. SO BA NEW DAWN PLZ CLOSE EXPORTATION OF MEAL AND VISIT WAREHOUSES OF SOME OF PF ASSOCITES YOU WILL FIND THOUSANDS OF BAG OF MAIZE AND MEALIE MEAL

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