The United Party for National Development (UPND) Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, expressed the New Dawn government’s commitment to addressing the escalating price of mealie meal during a press briefing held at the UPND headquarters.
Mr. Mweetwa, who is also the Southern Province Minister, emphasized that the New Dawn Administration is prioritizing the well-being of the Zambian people and is actively working on finding solutions to stabilize the prices of mealie meal.
“The New Dawn administration is more concerned with the well-being of the people of Zambia and pre-occupied with the movement in the prices of mealie-meal and not the opposition rhetoric,” said Mr. Mweetwa.
The UPND spokesperson further stressed that the party is dedicated to finding ways to address the issue and ensure price stability for the essential food commodity. One of the initiatives being undertaken by the government is the commencement of basal dressing production by the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), which is expected to lead to a reduction in fertilizer prices and, in turn, mitigate the cost of maize production.
“We are looking for price stability because we know that the high mealie-meal prices have caused a lot of anxiety amongst our citizenry. We are aware that in the long term, we are going to trigger an increase in the production of maize, which would, in turn, lead to a reduction in the prices of mealie-meal,” explained Mr. Mweetwa.
While acknowledging that mealie-meal prices may not reduce immediately due to the high cost of production, the government is proud to announce that all 116 districts have already received basal dressing (Compound D) fertilizer.
In response to Agriculture Minister Mtolo Phiri’s pronouncement that farmers on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) would be removed by 2026, Mr. Mweetwa asserted that this move would lead to transitioning farmers to genuine economic enterprises through a loan scheme. This approach aims to support farmers’ self-sufficiency and reduce the reliance on the FISP program.
Additionally, Lusaka Province Chairperson Obvious Mwaliteta highlighted the party’s commitment to ensuring that cadres refrain from taking over markets and bus stations to collect money forcefully. He stressed that this is not a justifiable or legal way of making a living and that challenges among party youths are being addressed through proper channels.
As the government and UPND continue to address economic challenges and support the agricultural sector, they remain dedicated to the well-being and prosperity of the Zambian people.