Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema bemoaned the high cost of Mealie Meal saying its way out of hand and completely unaffordable by many Zambians.
In a statement released on July 22, the opposition leader said the bad weather pattern must no longer be an excuse as many people in the world live in deserts and still their staple food are very affordable.
“The current prices are way out of hand and completely unaffordable by the majority of our citizens, especially with the current high rate of unemployment in the country,” Hichilema said.
“Blaming adverse weather conditions is merely a convenient way of avoiding the problem. There are countries that are deserts, but their citizens are far much better in terms of living conditions because they rightly invested in correct projects”.
The Opposition leader said Zambia needs urgent measures to address the escalating prices of mealie meal, cooking oil and other essential commodities as soon as possible. He said his proposal is every 25Kg bag of Mealie Meal must be pegged at K50.
“We have been talking about creating more water harvesting mechanisms such as dams, canals, boreholes, etc to make farming an all year round activity, than waiting for rains. Farming and related activities from crops to livestock can employ a lot of our citizens directly and indirectly through value addition industries, while ensuring there is available and affordable food in the country,” he said.
These are the kind of investments we should promote as they touch a great majority of our people. Our target with our agriculture policies is to make sure a 25kg bag of mealie meal is kept at K50 or below. This is about survival of our people.
And a spot check by Mwebantu news found that a 25 Kg bag of Mealie Meal is faring between K110 to K130 each. Mealie Meal prices have been escalating at a higher pace in the past few months.