Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Lockdown: Mutare retailers fail to pay for subsidised mealie meal

By Clayton Masekesa

Retailers in Mutare failed to pay for the government’s subsidised mealie meal delivered to them on Wednesday, as consumers face starvation.

Police deployed to deal with a mealie meal queue

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) yesterday (Wednesday) delivered 800 tonnes of subsidised mealie meal to Mutare retailers for resale to desperate consumers.

Addressing journalists, GMAZ spokesperson Garikai Chaunza said:

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“We are here with 800 tonnes of mealie meal for the people of Mutare. We intent to distribute this where the people are. Remember, we are currently under lockdown and we want to promote social distancing and avoid the spread of coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, we have encountered problems with retailers in Mutare. Most of them have said they are not prepared to pay upfront,” Chaunza added.

“The arrangement is that the retailers pay upfront and we give them the retailers roller meal so that they can sell it to the public,” explained the GMAZ spokesperson.

“This is a government programme and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is the manager. This requires us to get the receipts and the delivery notes, which we will send to the government for accountability purposes,” he added.

Efforts to get a comment from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu proved fruitless, as he said he was in a meeting.

Mutashu could not also respond to whatsApp messages delivered to him despite reading them.

The subsidised mealie meal costs ZW$70.

The lockdown has seen many consumers facing acute hunger. Zim Morning Post