News / Africa

    Zambian Millers Under Pressure to Sell at ‘Reasonable Prices’

    James Butty
    Zambia’s information minister said millers of mealie-meal, the flour made from corn which is the country’s staple food, have agreed to sell the commodity at reasonable prices.  

    Those prices rose last month from $8.50 to $15.00 per 25-kilogram bag.

    Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
    x
    Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
    Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
    Before meeting with representatives of the Millers Association of Zambia Monday, President Michael Sata warned that, if they did not take action to protect the people by reducing their prices, he would do so himself. 

    Sata said he did not want his government to be toppled by food riots, as was the case of Zambia’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda.  

    Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni said Mr. Sata is speaking on behalf of the people.

    “The president had a fruitful meeting with the producers of mealie meal, our staple food, and the emphasis is that the maize is being given to the millers at a subsidized government price, hence the need for them to sell at reasonable prices afforded by the masses of our people,” he said.

    Sakeni said some traders had been selling their mealie meal at exorbitant prices to Zambia’s neighbors who, he said, also depend on the commodity.

    Sata reportedly told the Millers Association that he had the responsibility to protect the masses against manipulative practices by unscrupulous business persons.

    Butty interview with Sakeni
    Butty interview with Sakenii
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    Sata said he did not want his government to be toppled by food riots, as was the case of founding President Kenneth Kaunda.

    “Honestly speaking, maize is the crop that forms our food security. Everybody is dependent on maize flour for survival and, definitely, the prices should be kept to the lowest level affordable by most of our poor people.  So, honestly speaking, the president was merely emphasizing the fact that nobody should be making big profits out of a commodity which the government is subsidizing to the milling companies,” he said.
                       
    The millers had said that their prices were in relation to the spike in the prices they are getting from the Zambian Food Reserve Agency.   
                                                         
    But, Sakeni said the traders, who buy from the millers, are also responsible for the spike in prices.

    “The point is the millers themselves have emphasized that they are not charging exorbitant prices.  It is the traders, those who buy the commodity to sell to the people, who have been doing that.  But, I think everybody has agreed that they will be selling the maize flour at reasonable prices,” Sakeni said.

    He said the government has every right to demand a reduction in mealie- meal prices because the government subsidizes the maize the millers are using to mill the flour.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Spanish Warrants Point to Russian Govt. Links to Organized Crime

    Links to several Russians, some of them reputedly close Putin associates, backed by ‘very strong evidence,’ Spanish judge says

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    Iraq needs stable, central government to push back against Islamic State, US says, but others warn that Baghdad may not have unified front any time soon

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora