Reports are that the government is in the process of setting up a roller meal task force. The goal of the task force is to make sure that there is equitable distribution of subsidised roller meal and that no one is taking advantage of the system and diverting the roller meal to the black market

During the holidays, there were some challenges as some companies were closed, resulting in the maize-meal shortage, which is still being experienced in some parts of the country.

To address the areas experiencing critical shortages and to ensure that maize-meal is available to all consumers, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is closely monitoring the subsidy programme in collaboration with the Confederation of Retailers Association and GMB and other key stakeholders.

Industry Minister Nzenza speaking about the taskforce to the Herald

The taskforce will be headed by the Deputy Minister of Industry: Raj Modi.

This is a noble pursuit but like all the various task forces before it, this taskforce likely to fail. I mean no offence, but I have never ever heard of any successful task forces, not here in Zimbabwe anyway.

Capitalism has taught us that if there is money to be made someone/some people will no doubt rise to the occasion and make that money. These people will have no qualms about breaking the law or assuming the risks involved.

Look at the socalled MaShurugwi, the marauding machete wielding gangs. They are an example of what happens where corruption becomes pervasive. These thugs have no problem killing people so they can strip them of their gold and make money themselves.

The mealie-meal black market is already a thriving well-oiled machine. All the task-force can hope to do is add a little friction. Otherwise it will squeak away making its buck. The Deputy Minister of Industry is already overworked anyway trying to stem the tide of shortages and spiraling prices, people charging in forex etc.

Besides the police must be made to handle such matters as part of their daily duties. The government has already made several Statutory Instruments it should just add another one that makes it a crime-it already is a crime I hope. The police will be better equipped to deal with this rather than some task-force.

It will fail just as spectacularly as the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit has failed when it comes to stopping businesses from charging in foreign currency.

Millers have the right idea

Miller’s have an even better idea on how to kill or at least dampen the black market. Flood the market with roller meal.