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Tue May 31 09:54:25 SAST 2016

Critical maize meal shortage hits Zambia

Agency Staff | 08 February, 2016 12:32
Maize field with silos in the background. File photo.
Image by: Thinkstock Images.

A critical mealie-meal shortage has hit the Chipata District of Zambia, as reports indicate that the commodity is being smuggled into neighbouring countries.

According to The Post, wholesalers have been in dire straits since Wednesday last week, but have also taken advantage of the situation by hiking prices.

Chipata district commissioner Kalunga Zulu said the reason for the shortage was due to mealie-meal being smuggled into neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique.

"I am aware that the provincial administration made a task force looking into the issue of smuggling and working together with milling companies like Cargill, will be able to regulate who we sell this mealie-meal to in the hope that we control the situation. So we won’t allow any bulk buying," Zulu said.

Zambians have long been calling on the government to intervene and put in place measures that would curb the smuggling of mealie-meal, Lusaka Times reported.

An official said that government was aware of the illegal export of mealie-meal, adding that a committee had been set up to deal with the situation.  

Source: News 24

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