In another clear case of lack of vision, Edgar Lungu has lifted a ban on maize exports after barely a week of imposing it. This is to safeguard the interests of a few PF cadres and Ministers who are smuggling the commodities to neighbouring countries.
Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa said the ban has been lifted after a verification exercise established that the country had sufficient maize stocks to last up to August this year.
Mr. Shawa told reporters during a press briefing in Lusaka that the verification conducted in all the country’s 10 provinces by an Inter-Agency Team constituted by the government has established that the country has 600,433 tons of maize in stocks, which was enough to last up to August.
He further said the government will only allow the export of maize and maize products after meeting domestic demand and if there will be a surplus.
Statehouse sources disclosed that the president feels prolonging the ban on maize exports could jeopardize the supply contracts that PF cadres and his Ministers have entered into with the players in other countries, as witnessed on the 21 impounded trucks carrying 420 metric tons of maize which were later discovered that they belonged to information deputy minister and the president had no option but to order for their release.
In recent weeks, Zambia has witnessed an increase in the smuggling of maize and maize products due to a huge market in some neighbouring countries with the government accusing the opposition of smuggling the commodities.