UNZA students protest against removal of mealie meal subsidies and give PF govt 3 day ultimatum

Zambia’s staple food mealie meal is expected to go up by over 40 percent as government has announced the removal of the subsidy barely a few days after getting rid of fuel subsidy that has resulted in hike of prices for commodities and transport.

And University of Zambia students have protested against the move and given the PF government three working day to rescind the decision.

The decision according sources within government was made at a cabinet meeting on Monday, May 13, 2013.  Agriculture Minister Bob Schinga who had difficulties to disclose the move made the announcement today. He said government could no longer sustain subsidizing the mealie meal. The government in an effort to reduce prices of the country’s main food offered subsidy in 2012.

But today Schinga explained that the PF government was already subsidizing mealie meal by selling maize grain at a low price to Millers through Food Reserve Agency (FRA). He said unfortunate the move means the price for mealie meal will go up.

Schinga said there was no option and felt bad that such a decision had to be made. He explained that he was merely a messenger of the ‘bad’ message.

In 2012 before government intervened mealie meal had risen in some places to as high as Kr120 for a 25Kg bag.

And students from UNZA late Tuesday evening stormed Muvi, a private owned Lusaka Television to protest against the move to remove the subsidy. The students who carried placards and chanted ati-PF slogans  denounced the government for the move.

The students warned that the move will haunt government and gave a three-days ultimatum to rescind the decision.