The continued shortage of mealie meal the nation is experiencing will cost the country’s political and economic stability, says Former Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane.
Dr. Musokotwane said that it was unfortunate that the PF government wanted to run away from its responsibility of providing for the nation and ensuring that it addressed the mealie meal shortage in the country.
He said that the statement by Agriculture Minister Bob Sichinga that millers did not have the capacity was shocking and disturbing.
Dr. Musokotwane said that the PF government must realize that the problem of mealie meal shortage was self created by the PF dictating how to run their affairs which was a danger to the country.
“The millers are right by saying that price control by the PF government has resulted into the shortage of mealie meal in the country. This is the same problem the UNIP government brought to the country in the 1980 and that is what the PF government has brought. It is shameful for anyone to state that millers do not have the capacity to feed the nation when all along the same millers have been feeding not only Zambia but countries in the Southern Region,” he said.
Dr. Musokotwane said that President Sata’s directives to reduce mealie meal prices was destructive and could kill the economy of the country which would end up creating political instability in the nation as it was in the 1980s.
And millers have urged President Sata to dismiss Agriculture minister Sichinga for misleading the nation on the capacity of the millers to feed the nation.
Millers said that it was unfortunate that Ministers in the PF government had continued to mislead the president over the current mealie meal shortage the nation was experiencing.
They said that the suggestions by Mr. Sichinga that millers had no capacity to feed the nation were not only mischievous but misleading and frightening.
“We don’t know where Mr. Sichinga gets those things he tells the President. He misled the nation that we don’t have the capacity to produce to feed the nation. What kind of a minister is he who is so much into misleading the nation?
Let him find out from his colleague in cabinet who owns a milling company and still producing but has stopped distributing mealie meal to other parts of the country as a result of transportation cost because of the directive,” they said.The millers urged Mr. Sichinga to consult from stakeholders who would have given him helpful information rather than scandalizing the PF government and himself, adding that he was fully aware of the cause of the shortage of the commodity. “We had a meeting with the then minister of Agriculture Emmanuel Chenda about the situation in the country and because he was not honest with us he failed to handle the matter.