Unscrupulous shops and businesses people are working in cahoots to hoard subsidised maize-meal for $50/10kg and then illegally exporting it into other countries in exchange for foreign currency.

This is nothing new really the only thing different this time around is that the criminal Zimbabweans doing this are now making even more profit as they get the mealie-meal at a lower price. Last year when maize shortages became acute as a result of the drought that affected the entire region businesses in areas such as Kariba and Victoria Falls were selling maize in Zambia and raking in foreign currency.

The Minister of Finance expressed his unhappiness at the latest developement:

I am aware that roller meal being sold at a subsidised price of $50 per 10kg is finding its way across the borders. I am aware some people are buying it at $50 and selling it across borders and making a margin by selling at a higher price. That, of course, we frown upon, it is not something that we welcome and it should stop.

Prof Mthuli Nucbe on the issue

These people are stealing from you and me

When it comes to these issues the response from most people is apathy and indifference until it starts to affect them personally but people doing this are actually stealing from you and me for personal gain. It’s not the same as a say a money changer selling his/her forex. It’s not a victimless crime.

The entire region is reeling from the intense drought and each is implementing measures to protect its populace. This undermines the measures in Zimbabwe and there is real risk some people will starve to death because of this.