A serious shortage of mealie meal has hit Chipata district.

A serious shortage of mealie-meal has hit Chipata district with most wholesale traders completely running out of the commodity.
A check by Breeze News in some super markets found that the commodity ran out on Wednesday including the locally produced mealie-meal.
And some retail shops at Kapata market have few stocks of mealie-meal being sold at 115 Kwacha per 25 kilogram bag of breakfast and 42 kwacha for a ten kilogram bag of breakfast.
Some shop owners who did not want to be mentioned say that most people buying mealie-meal are from Malawi.
They explained that they had put in place a condition that a person should only buy one bag of mealie-meal but this failed as foreigners were giving money to Zambians to buy for them.
And some shop owners at Down Shops have explained that they are now requesting for a National Registration Card from customers to qualify to buy mealie- meal so that it is not sold to foreigners.
They said that the condition has resulted in Zambians being bribed by foreigners to allow them use their NRCs to purchase the product.
And the traders expressed worry that supply of mealie meal has started delaying from suppliers.
The traders have called on government to seriously address the issue of illegal cross border trade especially on products like mealie-meal before the country completely runs out of the commodity.
Meanwhile a local businessman, Andrew Lubusha has been accused of illegally ferrying mealie meal to Malawi.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, some residents stated that Mr Lubusha’s trucks have been spotted in the night loading mealie meal at his home and taking it to Malawi.
But when contacted, Mr. Lubusha denied any wrong doing stating that he cannot involve himself in smuggling Zambia’s staple food especially that government is making all efforts to ensure that the country does not run out of mealie meal and maize stocks.

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