Millers Accused Of Diverting Mealie Meal To The Black Market

4 months ago
Thu, 01 Jun 2023 08:41:39 GMT
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Millers Accused Of Diverting Mealie Meal To The Black Market

The shortage of mealie meal in large retail outlets such as supermarkets has been blamed on millers who are allegedly diverting the product to the streets and pavements where it is being sold strictly in foreign currency.

There is a shortage of mealie meal in major retail shops but the product is readily available on the informal market where consumers are being forced to buy using forex.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara, requested to have questions from State media in writing but was yet to respond.

The Small-Scale Millers Association of Zimbabwe (SMAZ)  president, Davis Muhambi, told The Herald that it was possible that millers have cut off the supply chain. Said Muhambi:

I don’t want to be speculative but there is a great possibility that millers have cut off the supply chain.

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The availability of mealie-meal and maize needs to be investigated thoroughly.

Millers could possibly be holding the commodity as they may deem that it is no longer sustainable to supply the commodity in RTGs as compared to US dollars.

There are a lot of technicalities involved, which may require them to keep afloat, as well as to make profits from their business.

He urged the Government to urgently investigate the issue and ensure that sanity prevails.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu, said:

Government should urgently look into this matter. In fact, it should step up and consider the recommendations that we made to them to arrest such a scenario.

Millers may and are possibly cutting off the supply due to the prevailing black-market rates.

Mealie-meal must be prioritised as an urgent matter as it will fuel an upsurge of other commodities.

Most commodities are readily available on the parallel market and in backyard kiosks where they are being sold at prices up to three times the official rate.

A 10 kg bag of maize meal sells for about US$6 as compared to the official price of the RTGs, which is between $15 000 and $20 000.

This week the Zimbabwe dollar fell by nearly $700 to average $2 577 against the United States (US) dollar on the foreign currency auction held by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

On the parallel market, the greenback is reportedly changing hands at about Us$1:ZWL$3 500.

More: Pindula News



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