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Govt dumps favouritism on subsidy beneficiary milling firms to ease roller meal shortages

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By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT will, starting this coming week, indiscriminately place all millers in the country on the subsidy programme so they all access maize from the GMB and intensify roller meal production.

This came out Friday at a meeting which the country’s Millers’ apex representative body, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe GMAZ held with representatives from the ministries of Finance, Industry and Commerce, GMB as well as ZIMRA in Harare.

“We do not want to talk about what happened in the past but the way forward,” Industry and Commerce permanent secretary Mavis Sibanda told reporters soon after the meeting.

“Millers are my constituency as the Industry Ministry, we do not want any of their companies to close shop. So, what we are going to do is to make sure that all of them regardless of their sizes access the subsidised grain.

“We know that they have workers who also have families which want to be fed.”

Sibanda said GMB will now assume its traditional role of allocating grain to all registered millers, abandoning the current scenario in which her ministry and that of Finance had taken over the registering millers.

GMAZ National Chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said roller meal availability would improve once all millers are put on the subsidy programme.

“We have the capacity to feed the nation and give us one week after all millers have been given access to the subsidy programme, and you will see the product flooding the market.

“We are surprised and we have questioned the criteria which government used to only favour eight millers for the subsidy programme, leaving out over 50 millers and this has caused a serious shortage of mealie meal. The eight which have been favoured have also failed to service the market,” he said.