Power and Politics

Govt spokesperson, Mweetwa, denies Nawakwi’s claims genetically modified foods sold in Zambia


Government has dismissed allegations by the Forum for Democracy and Development leader, Edith Nawakwi. that it was importing mealie meal containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) from South Africa.

Nawakwi recently claimed that government was importing GMO mealie meal from South Africa using the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to supply the local market.

During the weekily media briefing in Lusaka on Friday, Chief Government Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, clarified that the mealie meal being imported by ZNS from South Africa was destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mweetwa challenged Nawakwi to provide evidence of her allegations by going to the market to purchase any brand which contained the GMOs.

He advised Nawakwi and other politicians to argue with facts as opposed to giving false information to Zambians to gain cheap political mileage.

“We challenge madam Nawakwi to go within any milling outlet within the boarders of Zambia and buy a bag of mealie mealie mealie and get samples at random and take for testing to prove whether there is GMOs in the mealie meal being sold within Zambia,” Mweetwa added.

The Minister stated that there was no mealie meal which contains the alleged GMOs in the Zambian market.

He cautioned Nawakwi and other politicians that it was decent to search for facts and not use hearsay as a basis to alarm the nation.

“Let me clarify that the mealie meal being imported from South Africa is not finding itself in the shelves or market stores within the republic of Zambia. That mealie meal is for onward transmission into the DRC,” Mweetwa clarified.

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He said the laws governing Zambia do not allow the importation of mealie meal containing GMOs, and that this was different from the DRC which allows for such, hence the move by ZNS to import and export to that country.

The Minister emphasized that no Mealie meal which was being imported had been diverted into the local market and that Nawakwi should substantiate her allegations.

“The idea of facilitating this mealie meal into DRC via Kasumbalesa is aimed at reducing the incidencies of falsed mealie meal smuggling of grade one non GMO white Maize mealie meal,” Mweetwa said.

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