The Malawian Government is not aware of any maize imported from Zambia whose 30 trucks were impounded in Chipata recently, Allan Chinyembekeza, the Malawian Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said.
Mr Chinyembekeza said in an interview with the Weekend Nation of Malawi that although he had heard about the impounded truck laden with maize from people, he was not aware that they were destined for his country .
Thirty trucks carrying about 900 tonnes of maize for hunger-stricken Malawi have been detained at Mchinji bordering Chipata in Zambia by Government over export permits queries, Malawi’s Weekend Nation has reported.
The stand-off between the Zambian and Malawian Governments has lasted for more than 45 days as a result of the export queries and part of the maize had since been offloaded into the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) storage sheds.
According to the Weekend Nation, it had not been established however that the impounded maize could be part of the consignment the Malawian Government announced had imported from Zambia to cushion the maize deficit that had left about 2.8 million Malawians in need of food aid as a result of last year’s drought and floods that cut maize output by 30 percent.
In February this year, according to the Weekend Nation, Admarc, the Malawian food agency announced the purchase of 30 000 tons from Zambia but it had not been established if the maize stuck in Chipata was part of the consignment.
The Weekend Nation reports that the Zambian Government had restricted its exportation of maize to ascertain the country’s national stocks.
The newspaper reports that the 30 trucks detained at the Mwami border belonging to Omar Transport and Fermak Transport were carrying about 780 tons of maize for Malawian Companies, Chinyange and Rab Processors.