The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has dismissed claims by the opposition UPND that its leader Hakainde Hichilema was blocked from donating 25,000 bags of mealie meal.

In a statement, DMMU communications officer Rachael Chama stated that the DMMU were not engaged by the opposition leader over his desire to make the donation, contrary to claims by the UPND that he was denied chance to donate the staple commodity to hunger-stricken residents.

“DMMU has extended a call to all well-meaning Zambians who wish to complement government efforts in providing relief, to do so through the Office. To that effect, DMMU has since been receiving donations from different stakeholders and individuals with the aim of mitigating the food insecurity being experienced in parts of the country,” Smart Eagles, the PF-endorsed social media platform, quoted Chama as saying.

And Chama stated that the DMMU had continued its distribution of maize, mealie meal and maize bran to selected vulnerable households across the country.

“Relief distribution by DMMU is not meant to replace people’s coping capacities and is purely to supplement local abilities of sustenance and strengthening of resilience and reducing vulnerability. The Unit is guided by the four principles namely; Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality and Independence, in the execution of all humanitarian programmes and the current distribution is no exception. In addition to the mealie meal, DMMU is also distributing maize bran, the by-product of the mealie meal to identified livestock and fish farming cooperatives in selected districts. The maize bran is specifically meant for livestock as supplementary feed,” stated Chama.