Thursday, 26 August 2010


Peter Cottan
The Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has commended National Milling Corporation (NMC) for further reducing the price of mealie meal saying the move is a step in the right direction and will immensely benefit consumers in the country.
ZACA Acting Executive Director Samuel Simutunda said NMC has truly taken a leading role in passing on the benefits of the favorable economic activities currently prevailing in the nation such as the bumper harvest and the lower cost of maize to pass on the benefit to ordinary people in communities.
Mr Simutunda told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that though the reduction of K2000 in the price of a 25 kg bag of breakfast mealie meal may seem minimal, it was of great economic value to consumers in the country.
He said his association had expected a substantial reduction in mealie meal prices but that the hike in electricity tariffs and the increases in the price of fuel earlier in the year have justified the small reduction.
The ZACA chief has however expressed disappointment at some milling companies that have remained adamant and do not want to reduce the price of the commodity despite obtaining maize grain at lower costs.
Mr. Simutunda said it was unfortunate that some millers do not want to pass on the benefit of the bumper harvest to persons on the ground saying this was not only unfair but was tantamount to duping ordinary citizens.
He said as much as the country was operating in a liberalized economy where business firms would not be dictated on the pricing of goods and services they render to the public, they should not take advantage of that privilege to disadvantage consumers.
Mr. Simutunda has since urged millers that have not tried to reduce mealie meal prices to emulate the gesture by NMC and slash the price of the commodity in order to benefit consumers.
NMC has announced a further reduction in the price of breakfast mealie meal by K2, 000 per 25 kilogramme bag with effect from yesterday. The country’s largest milling company early in the year reduced prices on the staple food by K 2000 on its breakfast and Roller meal brands, a move that made other milling company’s to follow suit.
The Milling Company has today effected the reduction in the price of breakfast mealie meal by K2, 000 in all Shoprite, Spar and Pick n Pay supermarkets.
NMC Managing Director Peter Cottan said yesterday that the price reduction has also been effected in all the 60 NMC depots around the country.

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