By SILUMESI MALUMO
NO one should trivialise or politicise the prices of mealie meal, President Edgar Lungu has said.
President Lungu said he was devastated with the escalating mealie meal prices in the country.
“This matter is effecting many Zambians,” President Lungu said, “I would not let millers sell the commodity at exorbitant prices.”
He directed Minister of Agriculture Micheal Katambo as he was meeting the millers today to ensure that they came up with solutions that would reduce mealie meal prices to enable all Zambians access to the commodity.
“As you are meeting your colleagues tomorrow (today) ensure that you come up with a solution and reduce the prices reasonably.
“Tell the millers that the President is watching. Tell them that this matter is serious and I will not allow anyone to trivalise or politicise the mealie meal prices,” President Lungu said.
“I will not condone anyone to hike mealie meal prices,” President Lungu said.
He, however, said Government would strictly monitor the movements of grain.
President Lungu said there was need to intensify security measures to safeguard the commodity.
Government was anticipating a food security threat and there was therefore a need to prevent the commodity from being smuggled out of Zambia.
And President Lungu has urged farmers to sell their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to boost food security in the country.
“Sell your maize to Food Reserve Agency so that we have enough food security,” the President said.
Mr Katambo assured the President that he would meet millers today to agree on how to reduce the escalating mealie meal prices.
He said he was confident his ministry and millers would agree on measures to come up with affordable prices. Mr Katambo said FRA had bought about 51,311 metric tonnes of maize in in the 2018/2019 marketing season. He said the marketing season was going on smoothly as evidenced by the tonnes maize which had been bought so far.