Chief Nyamphande of the Nsenga people in Petauke district has appealed to the government to address the mealie- meal shortage that has recently rocked the province.
But the PF government, not wanting to shoulder blame on anything, this time blamed neighbouring Malawian government for the shortage of essential commodities in Zambia.
Chief Nyamphande says it is disturbing to see people queuing up for the essential commodity when the country has recorded successive bumper harvests.
He said that he witnessed people almost looting a truck which had brought mealie-meal to Petauke district recently.
The chief raised the concern when Eastern province permanent secretary Bert Mushala paid a courtesy call on him at his palace.
And Mr Mushala said government has put in place measures to ensure that the staple food is in constant supply to avoid shortages.
The permanent secretary disclosed that the government has also written to shop owners to allow consumers to buy only two bags of mealie-meal as a stop- gap measure to reduce smuggling.
He observed that the shortage is as a result of some unscrupulous people who are smuggling the commodity to Malawi.
The PF government has so far been blaming other entities such as millers, opposition parties, foreign governments such as South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and now Malawi for the shortage of maize and increased mealie meal prices in Zambia.
Just like on political violence, the ruling party has been accusing opposition political parties for the break-down in law.
And in a related development, Chief Mumbi of the Nsenga people of Petauke district has noted that his chiefdom will experience a low crop yield in the 2013/2014 farming season owing to the late delivery of fertilizer.
Chief Mumbi told the permanent secretary that apart from the late delivery of the commodity some civil servants were abusing and manipulating the system to disadvantage farmers.