Govt. calls for timely delivery of mealie meal
Ndola, March 19, 2013,ZANIS — To avoid unnecessary price increases of mealie meal, government has called for speedy delivery of the commodity in the country.
Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge has also advised retailers not to overprice the essential commodity to not more than KR50.00 per 25 kilogramme bag as per presidential directive.
Some shops in Ndola are selling a K25kg bag of mealie meal between the ranges of KR54.00 to KR60.00 depending on the location.
ZANIS reports that the minister said this today when he paid a surprise visit to Chiming Changa milling plant in Ndola, today.
He wondered why traders were crowding themselves at the plant for days without getting their products despite paying two weeks well in advance.
Mr. Musenge speaking with company management wondered why Ndola was still experiencing shortages of mealie meal and unnecessary increases in the price of the commodity.
He said government had already agreed and discussed the matter of mealie meal problems and what was happening cannot be acceptable.
Mr. Musenge who was flanked by Ndola District Commissioner Rebby Chanda questioned management to explain why there was seeming erratic supply of the commodity a situation that has forced some people to be crowding the milling plant.
He also said his office had received information that people especially traders are made to pay for the commodity and only collect it weeks later on.
Mr. Musenge said it was important millers work with government in addressing the problem of mealie meal. He said if millers had issues to deal it just prudent that they approached government so that intervenes and not start manipulating the price of mealie meal.
And Ndola district Commissioner Rebby Chanda also informed the minister that his office has continued to receive reports that the company was discriminatory in the manner it was selling the commodity.
Mr. Chanda said traders and shop owners are made to wait for days to collect their mealie meal even after they have paid well in advanced.
But Company Chief Executive Officer Ajaykumar Gupta blamed other outlets of overpricing the commodity.
He said whilst the company sells the commodity at KR47.00 per 25kg, some unscrupulous outlets were overpricing the commodity which was wrong.
Mr. Gupta said management has however decided to come up with a scheme where it will start selling the product at the recommended price of KR50.00 per bag directly to consumers through its outlets so that ordinary people can access the commodity cheaply.
And Mill Manager Joseph Sosala said the plant had a capacity of producing 6000 bags per day of which it was managing to supply and satisfy the market in Ndola and Copperbelt in general.
He said the company was working towards ensuring that all customers received their commodity on time as it could not abandon contractual obligations with the mines and others in the open market.