By Staff Reporter
THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has released 40 000 tonnes of maize initially reserved for non-essential services to help alleviate the shortage of the staple during the current government imposed 21-day national lockdown period.
This comes as attempts to observe the social distancing requirement to avoid the spread of coronavirus remains difficult as locals scramble for mealie-meal from local retailers.
The maize offered by millers, according to GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara, was procured under the group’s free funds’ arrangement for non-essential production of other products such as snacks, breweries and stock feed.
Briefing President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a recent meeting between the President and business, Musarara said the millers group was hopeful the release of the grain will help alleviate the plight of citizens.
“We are offering that 40 000 tonnes of maize grain to the government to procure that so that we ease demand which is currently at two thousand (2 000) tonnes a day,” he said.
“We believe that if the government is to accept this offer, we are going to reduce the queues and ensure that households which are locked down are properly and adequately provided for during this lockdown period.”
The millers group said it was in support of Mnangagwa’s calls for retailers not to take advantage of the lockdown to hike prices.
Musarara pledged to support the country’s Covid-19 centres with mealie-meal to run their canteens as the world pandemic threatens to wreak havoc in Zimbabwe.
“…We have already pledged to the Honorable Minister of Health and Child Care food support or supplies to three centres – Wilkins, Thorngrove and Beatrice infectious hospitals for their canteens to be utilised by would-be patients.
“In addition, Your Excellency, we have provided 200 hundred generous food hampers for the frontline staff to be identified by the Minister of Health, as our token of appreciation for the work that they are doing for the next two months.”