Govt lifts ban in Chililabombwe, warns against price gouging of meali-meal

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CHILILABOMBWE residents can breathe a sigh of relief as the government lifts the ban on mealie meal supply, aiming to curb smuggling and stabilise prices.

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Chief Government Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa announced yesterday in a Kasumbalesa during a press briefing that the move, promised increased production and distribution of the staple food.

While welcoming private mills to join the market, Mweetwa warned against “price distortion.” He expects new players to adhere to the price range set by government-aligned millers, emphasizing, “We don’t expect…exploitation given the demand.”

Recognizing accessibility issues, the government plans to open more outlets in residential areas, reducing long distances residents currently face.

To prevent further smuggling, which jeopardizes national food security, Mweetwa assured stricter border controls.

President Andrew Chintala assured the nation of sufficient maize reserves, urging against panic buying.

He attributes recent shortages to administrative efforts against smuggling, not maize scarcity.

A high-level delegation led by Mweetwa and Defense Minister Ambrose Lufuma concluded their tour by inspecting Kasumbalesa’s ZNS Eagles Holdings, assessing maize availability and production.

It was also composed of Copperbelt Minister, Elisha Matambo, Zambia National Commander, Maliti Solochi, and Zambia Police Service Inspector General, Graphel Musamba

By Buumba Mwitumwa in Chililabombwe, Copperbelt Province

Kalemba February 7, 2024

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