Govt. will not stop the exportation of maize

Government says it has no intention to ban exportation of maize.

Ministry of Information Media Director and Spokesperson, Thabo Kawana said Zambia has enough maize, and exportation of some of the grain will not affect availability of mealie meal in the country.

Mr Kawana was speaking on the “X-Press Chit Chat Review” radio programme on Mafken Radio Station where he was hosted, in the company of United Party for National Development (UPND) Mufulira District Chairman, Ackim Mali, and UPND Copperbelt Deputy Information Publicity Secretary, Godfrey Kamangu.

He said the country currently has enough maize to sustain it to the 2024 harvest period, even if there was to be no harvest this year.

“Zambia is the only country in the region which has white maize and we cannot close our borders, the only thing we need to ensure is that exportation is done legally, not through smuggling,” Mr. Kawana said.

He issued a stern warning that smugglers will not only have the maize confiscated, but that even the vehicles used to smuggle maize will be forfeited to the state.

Mr. Kawana also said the UPND government is working hard to reduce the high cost of living in the country.

“The same shops where you buy goods, that is where we also buy and we are aware that the cost of living is high and we are working hard to lower it,” he said.

Mr. Kawana said due to measures put in place by the government, the inflation rate has been reduced from above 24 percent to below 10 percent.

He said the government’s hard work to improve the living standards in the country can also be seen through the end of load shedding which has ended earlier than the scheduled June.

Meanwhile, Mr.Kawana said shortage of drugs in hospitals will be a thing of the past by April this year as the government has procured drugs from different countries, which will be delivered soon.

He said the government through the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMSA) has procured drugs from Egypt and other countries, adding that the medicines have started arriving.

“By the end of the first quarter, we expect to have received all the drugs and we will have enough supply of quality drugs,” Mr. Kawana said.

He said the government had wanted to ensure that it procures good quality drugs at the correct price, hence the delay in procurement.

Mr. Kawana said the country had accrued a lot of debts through procurement of drugs at exorbitant prices.

And Mr. Kawana who later visited Mataba Milling Company said the price of Mealie meal in Mufulira will soon reduce to one hundred and seventy kwacha.

He explained that the high price of mealie meal in Mufulira was because Mataba Milling company had not been able to buy maize from the food reserve agency (FRA), and had to buy from small scale farmers who sold maize at an exorbitant price.

Mr. Kawana disclosed that following a successful engagement with Mataba Milling Company, the government will facilitate for the company to buy maize from FRA, in order for it to start selling mealie meal at the price of one hundred and seventy kwacha.

He also thanked Mataba for helping to curb smuggling by only selling large quantities of mealie meal to established enterprises.