DON’T PANIC: Mealie-meal Shortage is Artificial -GMAZ


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DT Correspondent

Harare – The recent shortage of mealie-meal experienced throughout the country has been labeled “artificial” by the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), calming concerned consumers and assuring them that supplies will soon be restored.

GMAZ chairman, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara made this announcement during an inspection tour of mealie-meal supplies in Harare yesterday conducted in collaboration with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers.

While acknowledging that various retail shops in Harare and other parts of Zimbabwe had encountered a shortage of the staple food, Mr Musarara attributed the situation to logistical challenges rather than a genuine scarcity of mealie-meal.

“In the past week or so, we experienced a shortage of mealie-meal in both wholesale and retail shops. This was due to logistical challenges that we have been experiencing.

“However, after engaging with the government and all stakeholders involved, deliveries have resumed, and within the next ten days, both the formal and informal markets will be flooded. This is an artificial shortage we are addressing,” explained Mr Musarara.

He also said the disruption primarily affected roller meal, while other products such as rice, salt, and flour remained unaffected.

He further stated that the shortage was concentrated in the northern part of the country, with the southern part enjoying sufficient supplies.

In an effort to address the issue comprehensively, GMAZ and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers plan to extend their inspection and remedial efforts to Mutare, Gweru, and Kwekwe next week.

Mr Denford Mutashu, president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, corroborated Mr Musarara’s statement, confirming that there had indeed been shortages in mealie-meal supplies.

However, he reassured consumers that the problem had been resolved through collaboration between the government and the private sector.

“As you can see here, truckloads of mealie-meal have arrived for delivery, and we would like to assure consumers that there is no need for panic buying,” stated Mr Mutashu.

He also emphasised the importance of ensuring fair pricing for consumers now that the shortage issue had been addressed.

The shortage of mealie-meal raised concerns among the public, particularly in Harare, prompting Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni to provide reassurance regarding the availability of grain stocks.

“The responsibility of the government is to monitor the supply of goods in the market, and there have been a few days where there has been a shortage of mealie-meal,” said Minister Nyoni.

“We have called an all-stakeholders meeting to prevent a catastrophe. We have made sure that before the situation gets worse, maize meal is available since there has been a shortage.”

With the assurance from GMAZ, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, and the government, consumers are urged not to engage in panic buying, as the mealie-meal supply is expected to return to normal within the next ten days.

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