ZAMBIAN maize and mealie meal from Kasama are now being smuggled to Burundi and other neighbouring countries, Kasama district commissioner Kelly Kashiwa has revealed.
He revealed that the artificial shortage of mealie meal in Kasama was being caused by some greedy businessmen smuggling mealie meal to neighbouring countries including Burundi.
He said police in Kasama recently impounded two trucks carrying mealie meal meant for export to Burundi and other neighbouring countries.
Mr Kashiwa said when maize was being smuggled a shortage was created which saw mealie meal being sold between K90 and K100 by greedy shop owners.
“Government moved in and engaged Kasama milling plant who are supplied maize by FRA in order to sell mealie meal at a cheaper price,” he said.
Mr Kashiwa said a 25 Kg bag of breakfast mealie meal was now being sold at K75 while roller meal was costing K62 contrary to speculations.
He said it was untrue that mealie meal in Kasama was trading at K110. Mr Kashiwa said Government had also directed Kasama milling plant to stop supplying maize to greedy businessmen who were exploiting the locals.
He said the instruction from government came after impounding two trucks which had smuggled mealie meal for export.
“We asked Kasama milling plant to supply 600 bags of 25 kg to all its depots so that people can buy straight from them because some shop owners were exploiting them,” he said.
Mr Kashiwa said currently the supply of mealie meal was stable and would be more stable once FRA supplied maize grain to all the 24 presidential solar initiative milling plants in Kasama.
The commissioner said Government had also engaged FRA to supply 30 metric tons of maize ready for sale to every household in Kasama.
He said residents were free to buy maize from FRA in order to sustain themselves.
And Kasama Milling Company sales and marketing manager, a Mr. Kabwe said the wholesale price for a 25Kg bag of breakfast mealing was K70 and K55 for a 25Kg of roller meal.
Mr Kabwe said the retail price of all of its Kasama outlets was K75 for a 25kg bag of breakfast mealie and K60 for a 25 kg bag of roller meal.
He said the plant produces 1100 25kg bags of breakfast mealie meal and 530 bags of roller meal per day.