Mealie meal shortages spreads as prices soar. Many more districts in the country are facing critical mealie meal shortages.
And the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) has expressed shock that a bag of 25kg mealie meal in Zambezi district is pegged at K120, 000, while a 10kg is pegged at K38, 000.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, CSPR chairperson John Lijimu accused government of failing to take adequate measures to address the situation.
He said the persistent shortage of the commodity after the country recorded three consecutive bumper harvests was unacceptable.
Mr Lijimu challenged government to come out in open and explain to the people of Zambia the persistent shortage of the commodity in the country.
“It is sad that up to now there is still a shortage of mealie meal in many parts of the country. We want to know where the problem is because the country recorded bumper harvest for three times, and it is not reasonable to have such a crisis now. The solution people are looking for is an answer to what happened to the bumper maize harvest that was recorded in the country,” he said.
He claimed that the former Agriculture Minister had failed to address the situation and expected the newly appointed Minister Bob Sichinga to change the current situation.
“We can keep pretending that there is no shortage of mealie meal when we have continued to see long queues. Statements alone will not find any solution, and we want government to take action now. If money to hold by elections can be easily provided, what about the welfare of the people who elect them in those offices,” he said.
Mealie meal shortages started in the Copperbelt but spread to the other parts of the country and the price has continued to go up.
He wondered why Zambia was experiencing such a crisis when the country had enough maize stock that was as a result of the bumper harvest that was recorded.
“The country had recorded enough maize to see the country to the next marketing season, but regrettably, we don’t know what has happened to the maize in stock, and that was putting the whole country at risk of starvation,” he said.
Currently, there is a shortage of mealie meal in Chipata and Copperbelt Province among other areas, a situation that has forced residents to queue for the commodity, as early as 04:00 hours.