We are surprised, Brian Hapunda, whom we want to describe using his native language Tonga as “Nchelele Bula” (Grazing for Stomach) that he does not know that, the only time when the cost of any commodity goes up is at the time when it is lacking or in short supply.
Mealie Meal prices in Zambia today have gone up because there is a deficit in maize supplies which was created by the Patriotic Front (PF) government.
This “Nchelele bula” wants me to name the places where there have been mealie meal shortages in the country.
Indeed, I shall give him the names of those places beginning with Southern province itself where a ten KG of Maize meal costs between K35K R and 40 KR.
We also have the Copperbelt, Northern Province and the new capital of his political master Muchinga province and elsewhere in the country.
We therefore challenge this political opportunist, Brian Hapunda, to explain to the nation why there is this sadden rise in food prices under the “Donchi Kubeba” administration of President Michael Sata.
The food situation and the general economical outlook under the fallen Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) were not as bad as it is now under the Patriotic Front (PF) government. We are aware that, when the PF took over government, the country had enough maize stock. This was as a result of the bumper harvest that was recorded in the year prior to the elections. Even in the election year, the country had recorded enough maize to see the country to the next marketing season. Regrettably, the PF wanted to show the country that, it had better agriculture policies than the previous government. Due to this pride the PF had after taking over the administration of this country, it squandered the maize in stock putting the whole country at risk of starvation.
As though this was not enough, this agriculture minister Emmanuel Chanda misled himself by directing the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to buy only hundred begs from each farmer across the country. As a result of this bad planning by the PF administration, our farmers had no option but to sell their maize to whomever was available to buy the product. This includes buys from across our borders and government cannot blame our farmers for taking this route. The poor farmers wanted to benefit from their farming products in readiness for the next farming season.
In a way, the farmers were right because they could have been stack with their maize and could afford to buy farming inputs for this farming season in which we are at the moment. And the PF government could not have managed to provide farming inputs to farmers as can be evidenced now across the country where farmers who depend on government’s good will to provide farming inputs are still waiting for the farming input which was promised to them.
In fact, some of these farmers are unable to find alternative farming inputs because this PF government “chayadi” (hit) them with a “donchi Kubeba.” They are not paid the money for the maize which they delivered to the FRA as per promised by the PF government.
This situation is not only to maize farmers alone. It is applicable to all other farmers whom the government hit with the “donchi Kubeba.” For example, we are not sure whether or not cotton farmers are willing to plant the product now after they were neglected by government in the last farming season. In some place across the country, some farmers don’t know what to do with their cotton which government failed to find market for them. Those that were able to sell, they sold it at loss.
What then is this young failed politician Brain Hapunda who calls himself Provincial Political Secretary under PF talking about? What he is talking about now is a well calculated maneuver aimed at hoodwinking people to believe that, he is working when in actual sense there is nothing he is doing. Where else in the country does a position of political secretary exist apart from southern province where he was strategically put to mislead his own people?
Our advice to the people of Southern province and the people of Zambia in general is that let them have nothing to do with “banchelele bula” like Hapunda who only exist to reap where he did not plant. This explains why the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has nothing to do with people like “banchelele bula” Hapunda. we could not think for a moment where these “banchelele bula”could go on defending the undependable.
If what we said was not true, why then did president Sata had to take trouble to meet with millers pleading with them to reduce the mealie meal prices? We believe President Sata shared our concerns and that was the reason why he worked to find a formula to reduce the prices of the staple food.
But this is not the solution we are looking for. Forcing milers to reduce the mealie meal prices is not the solution. These people are in business and they should not be used by the PF to win sympathy from the starving people. The solution people are looking for is an answer to what happened to the bumper maize harvest that was recorded two years before elections and the ones that was recorded in an election? People would be very much interest to know why government failed to mop up all the maize from the farmers so that we could have enough in reserve.
Instead of attacking us, for sympathizing with starving people this “banchelele bula” should help his political masters to find solutions to the problems the country is facing at the moment. The truth of the matter is that, there is no food in the country. That is the reason why the prizes have gone very high. There is no one sane person who can at will decide to push the price of the commodity which is plenty in circulation.