Zimbabwe Importing Maize From Zambia After Collapse Of Malawi Deal
Zimbabwe has turned to neighbouring Zambia to import 200 000 tonnes of maize to feed millions currently facing hunger in the country, after plans to import the same quantity of maize from Malawi in May did not bear fruit.
The deal was contested by the Malawi Parliament in Lilongwe because of a violation of tender procedures, NewsDay reported.
Zambia’s Consumer Association confirmed the maize deal. The Zambian consumer body spoke to NewsDay:
According to the information, it’s more like a controlled export because we have some companies which have memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Congolese and Zimbabwean companies in order to fulfil the MoUs.
Insiders close to millers and the Zimbabwean government say there have been hurdles around the importation of Malawian and Zambian maize.
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Sources close to the developments said all permits have now been finalised paving way for the importation of maize from Zambia.
It is reported that the maize is being imported by the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ).
This view was supported by Lands and Agriculture ministry secretary John Basera who said:
This maize is certainly not being imported by the government; it has to be private players.
We have 1.5 million tonnes of maize from harvest this year plus 300 000t in small grain, then 500 000t carryover stock from last year that puts us at 2,3 million tonnes of grain versus our demand of 2,2 million tonnes.
He said millers who failed to fund 40% of their local requirements locally were importing grain from neighbouring countries.
About 5.4 million (36%) of Zimbabweans are facing hunger in the current season, according to the World Food Programme.
This has brought the government under scrutiny after billions of dollars were used in recent years allegedly to boost the agriculture sector.
Government critics say the money was abused by political elites.