MEALIE meal outlets selling a 25kg bag of the commodity at more than KR50 (K50,000) have been closed in Kafue, according to government controlled Daily Mail.
In Kitwe, Copperbelt Minister Mwenye Musenge has told the Kitwe City Council (KCC) to shut down all outlets selling the commodity at more than KR50.
And in Kafue, district commissioner Grace Ngulube has ordered the closure of all outlets which will not comply with the presidential directive.
President Sata recently expressed concern that the recent hike in the price of the mealie-meal is unjustified and unacceptable.
Ms Ngulube said yesterday that some milling companies had continued to sell mealie-meal at higher prices despite President Sata’s directive to reduce prices.
She said the outlets will remain closed until they heed the presidential directive to reduce prices.
Ms Ngulube said among the outlets closed include those belonging to National Milling Corporation, Choma Milling, Superior Milling and Kapinga Milling.
“We had to close them on Monday, we are a working government and if people are not going to listen, we are going to act. We will close them until they reduce the prices.
“National Milling defied the order and have continued to operate, so I have informed the permanent secretary (Commerce ,Trade and Industry) and we may revoke their trading licence,” she said.
She warned that failure by milling companies to reduce prices at their outlets in the district will result in the revocation of trading licences.
Ms Ngulube said her district administration will ensure that no one “goes above” to defy the presidential directive.
Mr Musenge, who toured Chisokone market and some milling company retail outlets in Kitwe yesterday, directed Kitwe town clerk Bornwell Lwanga to ensure President Sata’s directive is adhered to.
“I am in Kitwe to do some random checks on some milling outlets and I am appealing to the council to ensure that traders operating in council markets comply with the presidential directive to have mealie-meal prices reduced,” he said.
He said Government will not allow Zambians to buy mealie-meal at exorbitant prices.
“Mealie-meal is our staple food, people must buy mealie-meal without any problems. As government, we will not allow some individuals to exploit Zambians,” Mr Musenge said.
He is, however, happy that some milling companies and retailers have reduced the price of mealie-meal.
He is also disappointed with the state of Chisokone market and that he is not happy with the way the market is being managed.
“I have toured Chisokone market, I did not see any council employees except those collecting revenue from the traders. One wonders where money goes which the council collects from traders,” he said.
And Mr Lwanga said the local authority is working towards improving the state of Chisokone market.