Police seize mealie meal contraband in Chililabombwe
Ndola, March 27, 2013, ZANIS – POLICE in Chililabombwe have seized over 24 000 by 25kg bags of mealie meal which was meant to be illegally smuggled.
And a check in the border town revealed that a number of depots were fully stocked with 25kg bags of mealie meal when most of the towns in the province did not have the commodity.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Mary Tembo has since instituted an operation being headed by Officer Kennedy Chibwe in the border town to curb the illegal smuggling activities.
Assistant Staff Officer for Kitwe Joseph Chitambo said this when he briefed Deputy Agriculture Minister Rodgers Mwewa who was in Chililabombwe to have an on the spot check of the mealie meal situation in the border town yesterday.
Mr. Mwewa said government will not allow a few individuals to enrich themselves at the expense of poor Zambians that are suffering for lack of mealie meal.
Mr. Mwewa said government was a stakeholder whose concern was to have all the people on the Copperbelt had mealie meal.
He warned that government will not spear anyone found smuggling in mealie meal but will ensure that the law takes it course on those found wanting.
He also banned the movement of trucks crossing Kasumbalesa border after 18hours saying it was a way of curbing the rampant smuggling which has caused the shortage of mealie meal on the Copperbelt.
Meanwhile, some owners of the mealie meal depots at Kasumbalesa border town said their depots were not illegal and accused Chililabombwe District Commissioner Steward Chitumbo of owning a depot which was also fully stocked with mealie meal.
One of the mealie meal traders spoken to Allan Mbasela said their business was legal as they had licences from the local authorities and that the depots have been operational for more than ten years.