In a move to avert the mealie meal shortage in the country, government has with immediate effect suspended export of maize and mealie meal.
Furthermore, government has directed the security wings to intensify patrols on the Copperbelt and Northern circuit where smuggling of mealie meal is reportedly rampant.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka on Wednesday, Defence Minister, Ambrose Lufuma, said apart from directing the defence and security wings to intensify patrols on the Copperbelt and Northern circuit where smuggling of mealie meal is rampant, anti-smuggling teams have been formed in all affected districts.
Lufuma said the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and Zambia Correctional Service have also been directed to deliver more mealie meal to the Copperbelt, northern circuit and other needy areas in order to stabilize the prices.
He has also clarified that the intended import of mealie meal from South Africa will not service the local market but will be exported direct to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under security escort.
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“Food security is national security, anyone tempering with our food security is tempering with our national security as Minister charged with Defense and Security of our country, we shall never allow this deliberate sabotage of our national security through the smuggling of mealie meal,” Lufuma said.
The briefing which was attended by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Lufuma said government will carry out an audit exercise to ascertain the maize stocks the country has.
“Zambia National Service and Zambia Correctional Service have been directed to deliver more mealie meal to the Copperbelt, Northern Circuit and any other needy areas to stabilise the prices,” he said.
At the same briefing, And Home affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu revealed that he has received reports that farmers near border areas have sold their unharvested maize fields to foreigners.
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