Zambia’s Mealie Meal Woes Persist as Tempers Rise

The Zambian government’s ill-fated attempts to resolve the mealie meal crisis on the Copperbelt has failed to calm the situation among the people as the shortage of the country’s staple food persists.

The problem is getting worse every day and people are now forming long queues shoving each other as they enter the shops to buy mealie meal. Elderly citizens are now engaging hawkers and street vendors who were energetic enough to queue up and buy the mealie meal on their behalf.

Copperbelt residents who gave overwhelming votes to usher the Patriotic Front (PF) into office last year feel betrayed at lack of consideration to end the mealie meal crisis by the government.

Some people that were on the queue expressed disappointment at the manner in which the PF government was handling national affairs. They were not happy with the laxity approach that government has dealt with the mealie meal crisis and wish 2016 was near so they could cast the votes to disapprove of the current governance system.

“Tukamufumyapo nga mulechita ifi [translated as we will vote you out if you continue to rule like this,” one of the residents interviewed said.

Agriculture minister Emmanuel Chenda on Saturday assured Copperbelt residents after meeting local millers that the situation was stabilizing. However, his assurances have been contracted by the situation on the ground.

The mealie meal shortage on the Copperbelt has remained unresolved for over a week now. This has forced a sharp increase in mealie meal prices with a 25 kilogramm bag now fetching between K62,00 and 80,000, signaling an increment of K30,000.

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