LILIAN CHIKANDI writes
THE Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has offloaded 600 bags of maize each weighing 50kg meant for sale to the community in Chirundu district in Lusaka Province.
The grain was being sold at the Pambazana shed in Ng’ombe Illede Ward, Chief Chipepo’s area.
Chirundu has been hit by hunger as a result of crop failure caused by the drought the southern half of Zambia experienced in the last rainy season.
Addressing a crowd of villagers who had gathered to buy the maize at the weekend, District Commissioner Alfred Hamunjo said the district disaster management committee had worked tirelessly to ensure that the maize was delivered despite many challenges.
Mr Hamunjo told the residents to be patient and disciplined while buying the maize using a national registration card.
He warned the villagers to desist from buying more than the two bags quota per household for resell.
Mr Hamunjo said the commodity would only be sold from 09:00 hours to 16:00 hours from Monday to Friday.
He said the price for FRA maize was K111 for a 50kg bag and no one was allowed to charge more than that.
Mr Hamunjo said if one household bought only one bag it would be allowed to buy another after two weeks.
He said the maize was meant for all the 10 wards in the district.
Speaking at the same gathering, Chirundu district council chairman Robison Sianduba warned the villagers that they should respect FRA sales man Oscar Kanyanga and observe order when buying the grain.
He said if there would be any report of indiscipline and theft, Chief Chipepo would be told and the maize would be taken to another place.
Mr Sianduba said the villagers’ behaviour would determine whether the district leadership could lobby for more maize.
Chief Chipepo’s representative and private secretary Emmanuel Dyololo assured the district leadership that there would be security and discipline.
Mr Dyololo said the maize would be safe in the shed as there had been no report of theft there.
Mr. Dyololo said Pambazana shed is in the central part for all the people in other wards to access .He has thanked government for the relief commodity especially that people have been crying to government to come to their aid.
He said it is a great relief for the people because people used to walk very long distances to Zimbabwe where they were ill treated.
And Ngombe illede councilor Sharon Palicha has also expressed gratitude to the district disaster management committee for making it possible that people can be buying maize from home.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Queen Siamungala a resident of Pambazana has also expressed gratitude and is happy that they will no longer walk very long distance and spending a lot of money to buy maize from Zimbabwe. She said now people can sleep peacefully because they will no longer stress where to buy maize from.