Socialist Party (SP) leader, Fred M’membe, has claimed that President Hakainde Hichilema’s importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) mealie meal from South Africa was tantamount to exporting milling jobs to that country.
M’membe said it would have been much wiser to import maize than the GMO mealie meal which was being imported.
The SP leader in a statement issued in Lusaka on Wednesday said importation of maize instead of mealie meal would keep the milling plants operating and the people in jobs. He said transporters would also have more to transport in terms of mealie meal, maize bran, among other by products.
“Bran is a byproduct of flour or grits manufacture from maize grain. It consists principally of outer skins, some germ fragments, and endosperm particles,” M’membe said.
He said maize bran was an extremely valuable product as it was highly used in the production of stock feeds of all kind and millers export a lot to Botswana.
M’membe said the transportation of maize bran to Botswana helps to keep the transporters in business and their drivers and other employees in employment.
“Zambians have for all years resisted GMO mealie meal. What has changed? Hichilema will be importing GMO mealie meal from South Africa for the next 10 months,” he said.
M’membe claimed that this meant that the country does not have enough maize stocks and shockingly, government was still issuing licences to export mealie meal.
“And at the rate the economy is further crumbling – if the inflation and exchange rates are anything to go by most of our young people shall reach pensionable age without having been formally employed,” he said.
M’membe said it was now clear by all standards that government had failed in its attempts to get the economy going again and improve the livelihoods of the people.
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