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Mealie-meal shortage artificial

by Staff reporter
07 Jan 2024 at 12:37hrs | Views
MEALIE-MEAL stock-outs in retail outlets witnessed over the last few weeks were a result of "logistical challenges" that were being faced by local milling companies, which have since been resolved and consumers should not panic over supply shortages, the Grain  Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has said.

GMAZ chairperson Mr Tafadzwa Musarara made these remarks yesterday while on an inspection tour of retail outlets in Harare to assess the availability of the country's staple in shops.

The tour was held in conjunction with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR).

"In the past week or so, we experienced a shortage of mealie-meal in both wholesale and retail shops," he said.

"This was due to logistical challenges that we have been experiencing.

"However, after engagement with Government and all stakeholders involved, deliveries have resumed and in the next 10 days, both the formal and informal markets will be flooded.

"This is an artificial shortage we are addressing."

The disruption, he said, only affected roller meal, while all other products such as rice, salt and flour were not impacted.

"Next week (this week), we will be in Mutare, Gweru and Kwekwe," he continued.

"The shortage has been affecting the northern part of the country.

"In the southern part, there is more than adequate supplies."

CZR president Mr Denford Mutashu said: "I can confirm that there have been shortages in mealie-meal supplies.

"However, we have found a solution to this problem after crowding in the Government and private sector.

"As you can see here, truckloads of mealie -meal have come to deliver and we would want to assure the consumers that there is no need for panic buying."

He added: "Now that we have addressed the shortage problem, the next step is to ensure that consumers are not overpriced by unscrupulous retailers."

Last week, supermarkets in Harare experienced mealie-meal stockouts, prompting Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni to assure the nation of the availability of the staple.

Said Minister Nyoni: "The responsibility of the Government is to monitor the supply of goods in the market and there have been a few days where there has been a shortage of mealie-meal, so because of that we have called an all stakeholders' meeting to prevent a catastrophe.

"We have made sure that before the situation gets worse, we make sure that maize meal is available since there has been a shortage."

Source - The Sunday News