By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE Grain Millers Association (GMAZ) has hailed the ongoing national blitz on retail shops selling imported mealie-meal saying the move would empower the local milling industry.
Police, in conjunction with the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Friday launched a crackdown on shops that sell the imported cheap staple food.
The blitz was launched in Bulawayo.
Cheap imported maize-meal smuggled into Zimbabwe, mostly from Botswana and South Africa, has flooded the local market forcing local millers to scale down operations and in some instances laying off workers.
Three weeks ago, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) filed a complaint with the government resulting in the ongoing blitz, which started in Bulawayo last week.
GMAZ general manager Garikai Chaunza praised the government for attending to the concerns of the millers and raiding shops selling the smuggled mealie-meal.
“We are happy as GMAZ that the government has listened to the industry’s concerns by enforcing the ban on imported mealie-meal which continues to be smuggled into the country at a time when the nation has a bumper maize harvest,” he said.
“Besides empowering the local industry, the enforcement of the ban on imported mealie-meal greatly benefits the farmers by ensuring that they get their money in time for their maize grain deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board as the same would have also motivated an increased uptake of maize from the national granary.”
Chaunza said the crackdown would also increase millers’ appetite to buy grain directly from the GMB.