Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe has ordered security wings to impound trucks that are transporting maize and mealie meal without export permits.

In an interview, Mwakalombe said the lifting of ban to export mealie meal was not open to everyone but to millers who had permits.

“What we mean when we say that we are allowing the exportation of mealie meal is that only selected millers with escort permits are allowed to export their mealie meal at the borders,” Mwakalombe said.

He said government was going to continue fighting the smuggling of mealie meal in the province.

He said the ban was lifted to enable the millers to sell their stock which had piled up and give room for them to buy more maize the farmers after harvest.

He stressed that government alone could not manage to buy all the maize from farmers as it had only budgeted for about 500,000 metric tonnes for strategic reserves.

“This is a government of laws which need to be adhered to and that was why anyone exporting mealie meal without a permit risked having their trucks and goods impounded. Millers who will be found exporting mealie meal without an export permit risk having their goods impounded. Those exporting mealie meal without escort permits risk having their goods permanently taken away from them once their goods are impounded,” said Mwakalombe.