Vice-President Inonge Wina has stopped government officials from issuing conflicting statements on the escalating mealie meal prices, saying the Minister of Agriculture or the Chief Government spokesperson will make all communication on the issue.
And Vice-President Wina has directed that only state security wings should issue statements on mealie meal smuggling.
In a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President Stephen Mwansa, Vice-President Wina said she was “very concerned” at the rate at which conflicting statements were being issued to the public regarding maize and mealie-meal supply in the country.
“Some media outlets and members of the public have taken it upon themselves to issue misleading statements and reports which have largely contributed to the instability and panic we are currently seeing. To ensure consistency in the manner that this issue is dealt with, government has resolved that all statements on the country’s food security situation will only be issued by the Minister of Agriculture or through the office of the Chief Government Spokesperson going forward. Further, official statements on maize and mealie- meal smuggling will only be issued by our defense and security wings,” Vice-President Wina said.
She also urged farmers and traders that have contractual obligations with millers to continue transacting as government has not introduced any price controls for both mealie meal and maize..
“I would like to assure the nation that government has not reintroduced price controls for maize or mealie meal. Price controls are contrary to government’s policy, which is to ensure that the growth of our economy is private sector driven. In this regard, I would like to assure all farmers and traders that have contractual obligations with millers to continue transacting as government is not involved in the transactions,” said Vice-President Wina.