NORTON Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa has teamed up with the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe(GMAZ) to weed out uncouth businesspeople, derailing the distribution of government subsidized mealie-meal programme during lockdown, Zim Morning Post can report.
The first ‘mealie-meal baron’ to be caught in the dragnet is a Katanga based businesswoman only identified as Kudakwashe who was nabbed on Saturday along with her son.
The retailer, who trades as Kudakwashe Investments, allegedly lured Norton residents to pay cash upfront for the subsidized mealie-meal under the arrangement that they would receive the product once GMAZ delivered.
Her motive was to sell the product at unreasonable profits .
Most retail shops have been selling mealie meal for at least USD 5-00 or equivalent to parallel market rate.
“We send our money(ZWL70) to her in the morning and when the mealie- meal was delivered she changes goal posts and charging in United States dollars to make a killing, opting to give us back our money,” said a resident who identified herself as Agnes Madangure.
GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara said it was unfortunate that some retailers were taking advantage of the collective effort between government and GMAZ to make mealie-meal accessible to the citizenry, and abusing the arrangement.
He said his association there to help government in this period of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic
“It is embarrassing to see people trying to fix others, as an association we have to help the government to feed the nation and those who are hoarding mealie meal should stop and the law should take its course,” Musarara said.
Mliswa was on the ground when the alleged ‘looter’ was caught and he immediately handed her over to the police.
“People should stop this dishonest behaviour. c
“Corruption has no room in Norton and we have since reported the matter to the police and the law must take its course,” Mliswa said.
Zim Morning Post attended to the alleged crime scene in Norton and Kudakwashe was assisting police with investigations when the team left.
Meanwhile, GMAZ has distributed mealie- meal in all provinces, promising more supplies starting next week.
On Saturday, they distributed at least 7 000 10kg bags in Caledonia and Norton.
Last week they were in Manicaland provincial capital- Mutare.
In Harare, they implemented zonal distribution to avoid movement across surburbs.