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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid