It is amazing how mealie meal has continued to be a very rare commodity in Solwezi despite it being a staple food and more painfully Solwezi being one of the major producers of the grain. Solwezi is still experiencing serious shortages of the commodity. Once word goes round that there was a truck off loading mealie Meal, people from all sorts of back grounds would all trek to where the off loading is taking place and causing a near stampede be it in Kyawama, Mitech or indeed town centre.
Yesterday in Kyawama, GM mealie meal from Choma was off loaded. At 1135 hours, it cost K 65, at 1148 hours it was pegged at K 75, at 12: 02 hours it was amazingly at K 90 and by 12: 20 hours the stock finished. Others who managed to buy more bags then started reselling at K 120. It was very worrying to note that elderly women were pushed around and most of them failed to buy mealie meal. Some people talked to complained bitterly saying their lives had become miserable because of the scarcity of the commodity which had in turn resulted in reduced productivity of their various chores.
One peasant farmer who came all the way from Kyafukuma area in an attempt of buying a bag bemoaned the unfortunate and continued shortages of mealie meal even in an area where maize was still being transported in huge stocks to unknown destinations by Swift trucks like Solwezi yet there was no mealie meal. Mr Kamwendo further complained that this year would be worse off especially that farmers including himself had failed to cultivate as much this farming season due inadequacy of farming inputs where Compound D fertilizer had either been distributed very late or not distributed at all.
He claimed that this time in the past years farmers would have been at the stages of applying Urea but it was not to be in 2013 fearing there could be serious hunger later in the year.
It can only be hoped that the Government would, as a matter of urgency, put remedial measures in place and in time to counter the foreseeable serious hunger as a result.