A CRITICAL shortage of mealie-meal has hit some parts of Ndola, Luanshya and Chingola towns.
The Copperbelt biggest supplier of mealie-meal is Antelope Milling, which is based in Luanshya.
And Antelope Milling senior director Jimmy Kaldis explained that the biggest challenge was load-shedding which has affected their production.
“Everywhere there are queues and I am the cheapest in the market. I am selling at K135 to K137 per 25kg bag of breakfast. I want to supplement the government efforts. Other millers are getting maize from FRA but they are not selling at the government recommended prices. But I am faced with a challenge of load-shedding of 6 hours. I know the crisis in the country of deficit of power due to climate change and I sympathise with government. So please I am appealing to you for the sake of these people that are queuing up all over places, please, to reduce on load-shedding so that l can produce more,” Kaldis pleaded.
“I need two things, help in cutting down load-shedding. Secondly, I need a lot of maize to stop these long queues. I’m happy that you have come. We need to improve the supply to our people. Mealie-meal is a priority to Zambians and I am very optimistic that this farming season we will record bumper harvest. We eat mealie-meal and that no one can do away with it. If you need to see these queues finish, just give us power. I need more maize.”
Kaldis said this when Luanshya mayor Nathan Chanda visited the plant to check on why there was a shortage of the commodity.
Chanda said the artificial shortage of Roan Antelope mealie-meal in some parts of the Copperbelt and Luanshya was being addressed.
Chanda assured Kaldis that something would happen concerning the challenges of load-shedding because President Edgar Lungu and his PF government would not want to see people queuing for mealie-meal.
“We need to solve issues; one at a time. I’m told Zesco used to give you six hours of load-shedding. Me coming here, l would also like to have a meeting with Zesco and they are very understanding. The problem is that there is no direct and dedicated line. I will engage the Minister of Energy and Minister of Agriculture over these matters,” said Chanda.