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‘We’ll end mealie meal shortage’

By ROGERS KALERO and MUYANI SHINJABALE
A MILLING company in Kitwe has pledged to stock sufficient mealie meal in its various outlets to alleviate the shortage of the commodity.
HM milling Director, Milan Trbovic said his company would maintain the recommended price of K130.00 for wholesale and K137.00 for retail per 25 kilogramme bag.
He said he would ensure that all the outlets had sufficient mealie meal in stock to curn the shortage and hoped that other milling companies would play their part.
In an interview in Kitwe yesterday, Mr Milan said the only challenge his company had was inadequate maize stocks and was hoping that the Kitwe District Commissioner (DC) Chileshe Bweupe and other government authorities would help secure more grain.
Mr Milan said, after receiving the current stock of maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) at the weekend, his company had distributed mealie meal to Wusakile, Chamboli, Chimwemwe and Mindolo townships to beat the shortage.
“As H.M Milling, we will try our best to distribute mealie meal in various outlets to alleviate the shortage that has hit the city in last few months. The only challenge we have is inadequate maize stocks. The maize we received at the weekend will finish on Saturday,” he said.
A check by the Daily Nation showed that H M Milling brand was going at K137.00 compared to the other brands which were being sold at between K160.00 to K180.00 per 25 kilogramme bagIn Mufulira, a task force has been formed to establish why queues have continued in mealie meal outlets despite the adequate stock in local shops.
Mufulira District Commissioner, Mike Manda, said that as the number of confirmed cases of corona virus grew in Zambia and other countries, so did the demand for mealie meal in Mufulira district.
Mr Manda said that some shop owners were getting youths, old men and women including the to buy mealie meal in bulk on behalf of local traders.
He said traders in turn hiked prices to as much as K195.00 to K300.00 especially at Mokambo border post.
“Some traders assemble mealie meal with intent to smuggle to the nearby Congo,” he said.
He said when he discovered the scam, he confiscated bags of mealie meal hidden at old Buteko market which he distributed to the needy for free.
Mr Manda vowed to control the situation so that gatherings caused by mealie meal shortage could come to an end
He has also taken to the street to check and close the shops that are overcharging the people buying the staple food.
He said that as the demand for mealie meal grew, people panicked and large crowds grew in outlets to access the commodity.

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