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PROBE PORK IMPORTS, GOVT URGED

By NOEL IYOMBWA and JOHN KOMBE
IT is disappointing that the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has continued defying a presidential directive not to allow the importation of agricultural products that are readily available in the country, Zambia National Farmers Union President Jervis Zimba has said.

In an interview, Mr. Zimba said that they are disappointed that despite the directive by President Edgar Lungu, the ministry responsible has failed to implement the directive.

He disclosed that the revelation that Master Pork has continued importing pork from South Africa should be investigated.

Mr. Zimba said that the company is importing from other countries when the sector is gaining momentum.

However,   Master Pork Managing Director, Walter Roodt denied importing any pork.

And Mr Zimba said that the government should get on top of the matter and that those behind it should be brought to book.

Mr. Zimba said that President Lungu made it clear that such products should not be imported but that some companies are frustrating the government’s efforts of supporting local farmers.

 “As ZNFU we are extremely disappointed with the Ministry of Livestock for allowing such a situation.

 “Government must investigate this matter and whoever is found wanting should be brought to book,” he said.

A source has alleged that Master Pork, a subsidiary of ZAMBEEF, was reportedly importing pork through a company called SMCO in the Western Cape in South Africa.

He said that the pork is packaged as a six-cut bacon.  “Master Pork is buying six-cut bacon from Winelands Abattoir in the Western Cape,” he claimed. 

Mr Zimba also said that the six-cut bacon is the whole pig cut into six pieces and then boxed and frozen. He claimed that the company was buying the pork at about K60.8 per kg and wondered why the locally cheaper suppliers were being side-lined.

He claimed that on June 22 this year Master Pork imported about 25, 984.72kg.

He claimed that the consignment was delivered by a truck with registration number HyC 913mp and trailer registration number HRC 421mp.

And a pig farmer of Barlastone area in Lusaka who sought anonymity lamented that Master Pork were buying pork at a very low price from the locals and yet it was buying the pork at a higher price from farmers in South Africa.

He wondered what the logic was and appealed to the government to probe the matter.

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