Police raid 5 000 tonnes of hoarded mealie-meal from millers
The raids were carried out at National Foods Limited and Blue Ribbon Industries over the weekend following reports that some milling companies are hoarding roller meal which falls under the government subsidy program.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police recovered over 5 000 tonnes of hoarded mealie-meal from millers in Harare after conducting a raid.
This follows allegations of the corruption and sabotaging which is being carried some retailers who are diverting the roller meal to the black market and selling them at inflated prices while the general population has to endure long queues to get the mealie-meal.
Recently the government pegged the roller meal price at $70 but apparently on the black market it costs $120. The police reportedly got a tip-off that National Foods and Blue Ribbon were allegedly withholding the subsidized roller meal. The police visited the two food processing giants’ plants and offices for spot checks.
Both National Foods and Blue Ribbon are contracted to mill the subsidized roller meal. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed to the Herald that surveillance on milling companies and retailers was being intensified in order to fight corruption and food sabotage.
Checks conducted at Blue Ribbon Foods in Harare and Bulawayo showed that 300 tonnes of mealie-meal were yet to be distributed to the market due to some reasons which are yet to be verified,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“At National Foods facilities in Harare and Bulawayo, the situation was different. The company had 1 800 tonnes of mealie-meal at Aspindale Depot, 600 tonnes at Bak Storage, 500 tonnes at their head office, 500 tonnes in Bulawayo, 1 000 tonnes in Mutare and 500 tonnes in Masvingo, all which was ready for distribution to the market.
He warned retailers and milling companies that they face arrest should they be found hoarding mealie-meal and diverting some to the black market.
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