By FRANK MUKUPA
GOVERNMENT should quickly take drastic measures against selfish millers who are illegally keeping the mealie meal prices up despite receiving subsidised maize from the Food Reverse Agency (FRA), National Union for Small Scale Framers in Zambia president Frank Kayula has demanded.
Dr Kayula said the move by the millers was pure “sabotage and evil’.
He observed that the selfish millers were making more profit than what they were expected to earn from their normal sales.
Dr Kayula appealed to Government and the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president Andrew Chintala to ensure that the mealie meal prices were reduced to reasonable prices.
“We agree with the Republican President Dr Edgar Changwa Lungu when he said that drastic measures must to be taken. We have the maize in the country, why should the prices of mealie meal go up. This happening because of our greedy as businessmen, it not supposed to go up exorbitantly, no,” he said.
Dr Kayula said it was prudent that the solar milling plants which had been installed across the country be operational so that such behaviour from the millers could be stopped.
He said there was need for the cooperatives managing the solar milling plants get enough maize during the 2018/2019 marketing season to start producing maize at reasonable prices.
Dr Kayula said milling companies would have stiff competition which would trigger a reduction the prices.
“It’s not all millers that are bad, we can see that some brands of mealie meal are cheap but those selfish millers are the ones who want to punish Zambians. Let the cooperatives be active so that the prices can go down,” Dr Kayula said.
Government has authority even under the free market economy, Dr Kayula said, to regulate the prices which can meet the ordinary Zambian’s need.
He, however, said it was also evident that some millers were working around the clock to make the government unpopular by increasing the prices.
He said it was possible to make reasonable profits even when the commodity was reduced.
“So we are just appealing to their conscience that they reduce the price because they got the maize from a farmer at cheaper price and can sell the bag of mealie meal at K100 per 50kg or K90 per 50kg,” he said.