Mealie meal smugglers will be arrested-Matambo

Elisha Matambo

Copperbelt Province Minister, Elisha Matambo, says the police will not hesitate to arrest millers that will be found smuggling mealie meal into neighbouring countries.

Mr Matambo said the smuggling of mealie meal to neighbouring countries has contributed to the shortages and high prices of the commodity in the province.

He said this when he visited Jambo, Sunshine Star and Chimanga Changa milling companies in the company of Ndola District Commissioner Joseph Phiri and security officers from the Zambia Police, Immigration Department and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).

He noted that government will now work with milling companies to ensure that mealie meal is sold at a fair price.

Mr Matambo said consumers should not be allowed to buy the commodity in bulk.

During the tour, Mr Matambo expressed displeasure that despite most milling companies producing enough mealie meal, there were still shortages of the commodity.

He added that most milling companies are receiving maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) at a fair price hence the need for them to produce enough mealie meal.

Mr Matambo has since urged the millers to protect their company names by doing the right thing through working with the government.

And Operations Manager at Star Milling Company, Shuriye Musa, said the millers cannot control what happens after the mealie meal is sold to retailers in communities.

Mr Musa said the company produces approximately 2,000 to 3,000 bags of mealie meal per day.

He said his company is selling a 25 kilogram bag of mealie meal at K180, adding that he does not understand why there is a shortage.

He further said he does not understand why the commodity is expensive.

Mr Musa said there is need to investigate the depot and monitor how mealie meal is being sold to the people.

Meanwhile, Jambo Milling Production Manager, Mcdonald Kampamba, said the company has not increased the prices of mealie meal.

Mr Kampamba said production has been ongoing normally.

He added that the company has not experienced any low production leading to shortage of mealie meal.


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