THE Patriotic Front (PF) has urged President Hakainde Hichilema and the New Dawn Administration to launch an investigation into the improper handling of maize that they claim led to “an artificial shortage of mealie meal.”
However, President Hichilema stated in a statement yesterday that an emergency reaction has been established to handle the mealie meal scarcity in some places.
Given Lubinda, the acting president of the PF, accused the UPND of mismanaging the maize that the previous government had left.
Additionally, he charged that UPND was responsible for the smuggling of maize and mealie meal, which led to a shortage in some areas of the nation.
Mr. Lubinda pleaded with President Hichilema to launch an investigation.
“The UPND have continued to export mealie meal which has created a shortage for the country. Small scale farmers are being accused of being smugglers, but the real smugglers are the New Dawn Government which through recklessness have created a manmade crisis. I implore President Hichilema if he indeed he has no hand in mismanagement of maize to set up an inquiry to know who made decisions,” he said.
But in a Facebook post published Friday night, President Hichilema said that in response to the mealie meal scarcity afflicting some areas of the nation, his administration has called numerous high-level consultative meetings with representatives from the public and commercial sectors.
“We acknowledge the seriousness of the current situation, particularly with the shortage of the commodity in some neighboring countries.
An emergency response has been activated to address this specific situation,” he said.
The President said once the measures are implemented, the situation will improve.
“We will closely monitor developments on the ground. It is our appeal to the citizens to uphold the interventions implemented by the government and maintain lawful and orderly conduct,” President Hichilema.