MEALIE meal prices are expected to increase after the Finance ministry failed to avail funds to the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) to subsidise the staple food.
In a letter addressed to Treasury boss Mthuli Ncube, GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of the ministry, which he said had made a public announcement to the effect it would pay grain millers a subsidy to allow for mealie meal prices reductions.
“Regrettably, the Ministry of Finance is yet to make good on its front payment of the subsidy funds to millers. However, as a gesture of goodwill, millers had already started to reduce prices. Unfortunately, members are financially handicapped to continue selling at the subsidised prices in the absence of upfront payments of the subsidies.”
Musarara also said though they had not yet received subsidy money, grain millers had started to reduce prices as a sign of goodwill, adding that the ministry was letting them down, leaving them with no choice but revert to the old prices.
GMAZ gave the ministry an ultimatum which should be addressed by Thursday.
For the past two weeks, the nation was made to believe that prices of maize meal would fall after President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Ncube announced that subsidies would be brought back.
The recent announcement is likely to cause more panic and expose a lot of poor people to hunger and starvation.