Petauke Member of Parliament, Emmanuel Jay Banda, is concerned that his area has been hit with mealie meal shortage, as he attributed the development to government strict regulations.
Banda complained that the shortage had been caused by the regulation imposed on the traders by government to ensure they obtained permits when buying the commodity on larger scale.
“While the Ministry of Agriculture was issuing permits to private millers to deliver their products to various parts of the country, it was the Zambia National Service (ZNS) that is essentially monitoring the execution of the enforcement of the permits which was causing serious delays in the delivery of the commodity,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Banda said the restrictive regulation was unnecessary and feared that severe hunger was likely to hit the district because millers were not supplying the mealie meal and that traders and consumers were being restricted to the commodity being supplied by ZNS through its milling companies.
“It is not speculation but it is the truth that there is shortage of mealie meal here. Traders are being asked to get permits in Lusaka for them to order mealie meal. But you know not all shop owners can manage to travel.
“What traders usually do is that, they just deposit money in an account for the miller and they only send a truck to load mealie meal and bring it to Petauke, but this issue of getting a permit it is a burden to traders,” he said.
Banda alleged that from the time he engaged government, no response had been given but he would continue to pursue until the matter was addressed.
“They have been quiet but we shall still follow it up, and two weeks from now Parliament will open so we will still make a follow up,” he concluded.
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