RESIDENTS of Kawama in Ndola on Friday joined mealie-meal smugglers in rioting after police impounded trucks carrying mealie-meal destined for the DRC. And Copperbelt police commissioner Charity Katanga said trucks with over 1,000 bags of smuggled breakfast mealie-meal bags have been impounded. The smugglers are using bicycles and other means to take mealie-meal to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Around 01:00 hours, smugglers threw stones at police officers who were on patrol. Later, around 01:30 hours, three trucks loaded with different bags of mealie-meal destined for DRC were impounded. Katanga said the police were overwhelmed by the numbers of smugglers
“Police in the early hours of Friday impounded some vehicles, trucks loaded with mealie-meal. While the police were patrolling, the smugglers started to throw stones. It is unfortunate that smuggling is now high. You see, 90 per cent of Ndola is surrounded by DRC, so the police are outnumbered. The problem of smuggling is serious,” said Katanga.
“So we need the local authorities to also come on board and see the people they are giving trading licences. So far five trucks are parked, Sakanya is the main way used to smuggle. We are worried as law enforcement officers. This should not be tolerated because we may run out of mealie-meal in our country. We need to protect our country. It [smuggling] is too serious and needs consented efforts.”
Although order has been restored, police deployed officers in Kawama to keep vigil.