By Staff Reporter
MUTARE: The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe(GMAZ) has availed 800 metric tonnes (MT) of subsidised roller meal to the eastern border city as part of its programme to promote social distancing and curb spread of COVID-19 during public purchase of the scarce staple.
GMAZ spokesperson Garikai Chaunza confirmed the roller meal will be distributed to vulnerable communities to ensure locals don’t travel long distances in search of the necessity.
“Remember we are on lockdown and to promote social distancing and to curb the spread of COVID-19, we need to bring the staple food to the doorstep of local communities particularly the vulnerable,” he said.
Chaunza said the mealie meal will be distributed only to registered retailers with tax clearances to sell to the public at a subsidised price of $70.
“Since it’s a government programme, we need to be accountable and transparent.The retailers are required to pay cash upfront and mealie meal is delivered to their shops,” said Chaunza.
The GMAZ spokesperson said the programme was being monitored and supervised by the Ministry of Industry.
He also said to date, GMAZ had covered 90% of Harare and Bulawayo with a delivery of 800 metric tonnes in each city.
“We don’t have enough maize for supplying the whole nation but from the little we are receiving from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), we will ensure it reaches all corners of the country to feed the vulnerable marginalised groups in our society,” said the spokesperson.
He added that their intention as GMAZ was to ensure the nation is fed the entire 365 days of the year depending on the availability of maize from government.
Chaunza said GMAZ had also availed 40 000 MT to the government-initiated roller meal project.
“We also have our own maize which is being milled into super-refined mealie meal. It’s being imported using free funds,” he said, adding that the programme was in its first phase and expected to cover rural communities depending on the availability of maize from GMB.