A statement issued by JCTR states that despite pronouncements by the PF that it has offloaded cheap maize and held talks with millers, prices of mealie meal have actually gone up.
‘The JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka for March 2015 shows an increase in average mealie meal prices by K1.15 per 25kg bag.
‘According to the JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket Mpika and Luanshya are two other towns that have also recorded an average increase of mealie meal prices of K6.04 and K0.38 respectively.
‘ In some areas, mealie meal prices have remained static. For instance in Chipata, Chinsali and Kasamaprices still averaged K81, K80 and K74.60 per 25Kg bag respectively. In Livingstone, Choma, Kitwe and Mansa mealie meal prices have slightly reduced from the previous month of February by K1.08, K2.38, K1.32 and K2.05 respectively,’ said JCTR.
The JCTR said it is concerned about the current state of mealie meal prices and the cost of living in general.
‘The cost of living for the month of March 2015 as measured by JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for an average family of five living in Lusaka is K3, 797.55. This shows an increase of K29.87 as compared to February’s BNB which stood at K3, 767.68.
‘The increase in the BNB is mainly attributed to the increase in prices of the following food items; Beans and Beef which increased by K11.61 and K3.00 respectively. In contrast, other commodities showed decrease in price namely, Charcoal, Tomatoes and Vaseline,’ JCTR said.
JCTR advised the PF government to be serious with people’s lives.
‘The JCTR would like to appeal to government to implement comprehensive package of measures that will effectively address the high cost of living in general and the high mealie meal prices in particular,’ said JCTR.