By Lumbiwe Mwanza
THE cost of mealie meal in the country will continue being unstable if the capacity of the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to produce more maize and mill remains inadequate, says BuyZed founder Evans Ngoma.
Speaking with the Scoop in an interview, Mr. Ngoma says ZNS milling plants should be well funded to produce more mealie meal to put on the market in light of increased commodity prices which have continued to be unbearable for most Zambians.
“The price of mealie meal has escalated in the country with the commodity selling at more than K200 for a 25-kilogram bag in some places and this is unacceptable for the staple food to be fetching that much,’’ Mr. Ngoma complained.
Mr Ngoma has further expressed disappointment that some Zambians have also continued to create an artificial shortage of mealie meal by smuggling the commodity to other countries when they are supposed to protect it from leaving the country through dubious means.
‘’It is shocking that to date, some citizens are so unpatriotic to the extent of smuggling out mealie meal in huge tonnes. Don’t they have a conscience? This is why as a country, we need to ensure that we build the capacity of ZNS to grow maize in abundance in view of having prices of the commodity stabilised,” he said.
Mr. Ngoma has appealed to citizens to effectively play a role in protecting the country’s staple food as smugglers will continue having a negative impact on many households.
Yesterday, authorities in Isoka in Muchinga province impounded 22 trucks which were found laden with white maize, believed to have been destined for Tanzania.