Engage private millers, ECL advises HH


Engage private millers, ECL advises HH

…to resolve the crisis of the mealie meal shortage and competitive pricing to cure the endless queues Zambians are being subjected to access the staple food

FORMER President Edgar Lungu has advised the UPND government to consider engaging private millers who have over the years worked with successive governments in managing the mealie meal market if the current crisis of Zambians queuing for the staple food has to be resolved.

And former President Lungu has said the Zambia National Service (ZNS) was never meant to take over the production and trading in the mealie meal market but the project was merely meant to supplement the private sector.

Commenting for the first time on the continued scarcity of the ZNS Eagle mealie meal which Zambians are now queuing and stampeding for, former President Lungu said ZNS had never had the capacity whatsoever to produce and meet the demand of the country’s staple food.
He said during his tenure as President, there were regular meetings with the private millers and grain traders to discuss how best to manage the mealie meal industry and that the private sector had always provided the best solutions.

Former President Lungu said under his administration, there was never a time when the country had a shortage of mealie meal and that because of the relationship government had with the private sector, the prices of mealie meal were always stable and affordable to citizens.

“When late President Michael Sata warned that we should never bring people into government who should do job on training, he meant every word. Zambians elected a leader who is learning how to govern but unfortunately, he is a slow learner. Even the few people that he listens to are also new and slow learners and this is the price we are paying for inexperience,” former President Lungu said.

“The ZNS was intended to supplement the efforts of the private milling sector and never meant to take over the market. Truth be told, ZNS has no capacity whatsoever to produce mealie meal and meet national demand.

Government should consider engaging private millers who have from time immemorial worked with successive governments to resolve the mealie meal crisis. Zambians are now being subjected to queuing for staple food in this day and era…it is unacceptable and should never have been allowed,” he said.
He recalled that the ZNS milling progeramme was mooted by the PF government whose original blueprint was not to take over the milling business market, warning that things could get worse than what was currently obtaining.
“It is a no brainer that the PF mooted the programme but ZNS was never designed to stifle the private sector. For me, it is not a surprise that we are where we are with citizens queuing up for mealie meal.

Even Dr Webster Chabe, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Pastor has told him (President Hakainde Hichilema) to wake up because there is a real crisis of hunger in rural communities where this ZNS Eagle mealie meal is not distributed. I hope he will listen,” former President Lungu said.

Daily Nation


  1. Most private millers are sympathetic to PeeEfu and belong to a cartel that deliberately set mealie meal prices very high in order to discredit the efforts of the current regime. Now that ECL has seen that his mwenye millers are making losses because of cheap ZNS and Prisons mealie meal, ati talk to millers????

    Geerroouuttt !!!!!!

  2. It is you who doesn’t know how serious food security is. This is why the current government decided to bypass jokers and clowns and get on with the serious business of running the country. As long as private millers are part of the problem and not the solution, there is nothing to discuss.

    If HH wants Lungu’s advise, he knows where to find him. Lungu created the challenges we are going through, so unsolicited advise from Lungu is very unwelcome.

  3. Mr. Lungu millers are acting like a cartel. Price gauging and a law can be enacted to prevent that. But that law should not prevent the free enterprise that should drive an economy.

    I have said this before and what Michigan State University did with the Ministry of Agriculture (wherein Bena Ballard Zulu were part of the project) helped increase productivity among small scale farmers. Remember when commerical farmers played the same game, millers are playing. They controlled the price of maize. Now millers are trying to control the price of millie meal.
    What you see HH doing with ZNS is deal with the demand and Prices of maize and Mealie meal. The forces that affect these two are both internal (millers acting like a cartel) and external the demand for maize (in countries where maize production is hampered by political situation, weather and social/economic structure). We have employed extention workers and should have social workers that should be educating our women folks about alternatives to maize.
    They cried for jobs. Where are they? Policy wise has Mutolo Phiri worked on that aspect of ensuring that which the President says is being done? Or the PS at Agriculture and the Minister are dosing while getting paid?
    Lungu’s suggestion is narrow and short sighted. A temporal fix. Appease the miller and let them continue getting rich while the masses pay the price. Isnt that the way things were under PF?
    When you see people live lives that are unimaginable in an economy like this. Know policy makers are not shifting wealth in an economy and the disparity will grow.
    When there is a very wide disparity discontent will bring archancy and uproar among the masses.
    Ma Policy analyst muli dwee. Friday chalila….you are also contributing to bene mutolo to be lazy and lungu pushing an agenda for the looters of the economy not the people. As long as akupasa ka brown envelope Lungu thinks that is problem sloving? That is giving a man fish to eat not teaching him how to fish.

    HH cant do it all. Meanwhile mufola and think robbing the public is Public service? Pa Zambia….and we wonder why things are bad and complain all day ‘very day…

  4. Sir your good advice to the all knowing cnp won’t be put to use or taken no wonder they went about with that smoke screen kasanda to sell to other countries and looked more knowledgeable and wise, no foresight on serious security issues like food. That’s why it’s called FOOD SECURITY because it is a serious security issue.


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