Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Current mealie meal shortage a sign of failure of the New Dawn government – Archbishop George Mpundu


Former Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu has said the current mealie meal shortage that has hit the country is a sign of failure on the part of the New Dawn Government.

Featuring on Hot FM’s Hot Seat Show on Thursday morning, Archbishop Mpundu said the Government must ensure that it quickly makes mealie meal available and affordable.

The candid senior clergy questioned why the Government allowed the export of maize without consulting experts in the field especially the farming community.

Archbishop Mpundu said it does not make sense for the Government to now allow the importation of mealie meal after exporting maize earlier.

He warned that mealie meal shortages made the UNIP Government unpopular and contributed to its downfall.

“Exporting maize and now resorting to importing mealie meal, does not make sense (laughs), I am not insulting anyone. You are saying does it make sense, it makes no sense. In the first place my brother, this country is very rich, with land, natural resources and a lot of water. I think we sold maize elsewhere because we had a bumper harvest. We are talking about consultation. Where was consultation when selling maize outside the country? Where was the consultation especially from the farming community on how to preserve the commodity which is so precious to our people? If there was consultation that maize would have been still there feeding us. Even this morning I was looking at my phone, there was this lady in Mokambo; she was saying we come here at 05:00 in the morning on the line just to get a bit of mealie meal. It never happened in the time of bananikane ba PF. It never happened but we can remember the time of Kenneth Kaunda. Now, the time when food riots began with the Copperbelt, coming this direction is the time UNIP started going down and it never came up because food is life,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

He said Government officials should not dictate the type of food the people wanted to eat.

“If food is not there then those we elected to lead us are failing miserably. My brother (presenter) you have a wife and children and you can’t feed them. I mean it is a nightmare situation. Little brats crying, they are so little just looking at the mother and father, are these people normal? There is no food. It is failure number one if you don’t feed your people, the food is not available or when it is not affordable then you have failed. There are no two ways about it. We have repeated this issue time and again about the French revolution because people were hungry. The potato crop had gone bad, the wheat crop had been attacked and there was no food for two seasons. Don’t you remember the Queen saying if you can’t afford breakfast mealie meal why not buy roller meal but then at one time even roller meal was not there or too expensive? What about kandolo (sweet potatoes)? Really? Eat kandolo, I nearly said if there is no kandolo because kondolo is not cheap, you can try grass. Now people know what they want especially in terms of food,” Archbishop Mpundu continued.

“It is up to those we have elected to lead us to provide this food and that the food is affordable and available. If you don’t you have failed so right now we can say it is failure. Now they say they are planning to import something from outside again. Can you see that? We had plenty then we sold it out now we have bought it back at a higher price. What kind of behaviour is this? People are not amused but worse it is that hungry people are hungry people no two ways about it. Our political leadership let them look at the faces of people, their long faces. People are sending children to school on empty stomachs. They have to be fetched from school, there is no fuel. Let them do something and do it yesterday, as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Hakainde Hichilema this week said the Government has put up measures to improve the mealie meal situation.

“In response to the mealie meal shortage affecting certain regions of the country, we have convened multiple consultative meetings with both government and private sector officials at a high level. We acknowledge the seriousness of the current situation, particularly with the shortage of the commodity in some neighbouring countries. An emergency response has been activated to address this specific situation. We anticipate that the measures implemented will improve the situation and we will closely monitor developments on the ground. It is our appeal to the citizens to uphold the interventions implemented by the government and maintain lawful and orderly conduct,” President Hichilema wrote on his facebook page.


  1. That bumper harvest was during the Patriotic front. The current government lacks foresight they are a disgrace.

  2. It shouldn’t happen, never. We are supposed to be self-sufficient. This man (HH)just dreams like he’s acting in a Nigerian movie where we see supernatural beings intervening on behalf of human beings

  3. This usilec president has only talked about neighbouring countries. Does th1is pres1denti th1nk propali.

    In other kantr1s he should have resigned on moral grounds

  4. The minister of agriculture said when issuing export permits last year that there is enough stocks and plus coupled with the estimated forecast there will even be a surplus hence allowing for exports of maize. Now that he has been proved to be a liar and incompetent its better he resigns on his own or let him be fired to save the presidency.


  6. Imwe tu pf ,are you telling us that there were no shortages of mealie meal during your reign of terror? We have facts and we will be posting them on social media.

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