Millers, consumers in row over mealie meal hike


THE Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) should have consulted Government before hiking the prices of mealie meal which is unbearable to the common Zambian on the street, says Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) publicity and information secretary Juba Sakala.

And Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) executive director Lewis Mwape has advised government to intervene in the plans by the millers to increase the price of mealie meal by between K10 and K15 for a 25 Kilogram bag mealie meal for Breakfast and Roller meal.

Mr. Sakala said in an interview that the millers should have considered dialogued with government to table their challenges before hiking the price of mealie meal.

Mr. Sakala said his association was concerned with the developing trends in which most traders were increasing the prices of almost all the commodities on the market attributing it to the depreciation of the kwacha.

He said business houses should not take advantage of the depreciation of the kwacha to increase prices, adding that most commodities which were being offloaded on the market were stocked even before the kwacha started depreciating.

Meanwhile the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) executive director Lewis Mwape has advised government to negotiate with millers to find possible ways to keep the mealie meals prices low.

Mr. Mwape said the decision by millers to increase the mealie meal prices will disadvantage the less privilege in society as a basic commodity which forms the country’s staple food would become unaffordable to many families.

“We regret that the situation is like this but what we can do is to ask government to find ways of negotiating with the millers in this matter as you are aware that the Zambian staple food comes from mealie meal. Everyone whether rich of poor we all depend on mealie meal and the poor cannot afford to buy other foods supplement, so we appeal to government intervene to ensure mealie meal prices are kept within the affordable range”. Mr. Mwape said.

He noted that the urban poor will be affected if the price of mealie meal is hiked to this extent.

He said despite the fact that cost of doing business has gone high millers should hike the mealie meal prices within an affordable range.

On Sunday Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president Allan Sakala announced that the prices of mealie meal will in the next few days go up by k10 to k15 per 25kg bag of mealie meal for breakfast and Roller meal respectively.-Millenium Radio