Govt bans private maize sales

GOVERNMENT has published new regulations requiring all maize to be sold to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), in a move designed to control prices of the staple mealie-meal.

The regulations, published yesterday under Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019, also ban the transportation of more than five bags of maize except when making deliveries to the government-run GMB.

Police would be empowered to seize maize where breaches occur and individuals falling foul of the new legal requirements face up to two years in prison.

“No person or statutory body or company or entity shall sell or otherwise dispose of any maize except to a contractor or to the Grain Marketing Board,” the regulations say.

“No person who is not a producer of maize (farmer) or who is not a contractor shall sell maize to the GMB… No person or statutory body or entity shall buy or otherwise acquire any maize from any farmer or producer otherwise than through the GMB.”

A contractor is described as any person, company or entity that contracts a farmer to grow maize.

The regulations say only five bags of maize with a weight of 50kg or less each can be transported from one province to another, except when making a delivery to GMB.

The government sets prices for all maize delivered to the GMB, which is currently ZW$1 400 per tonne.

The new regulations force all farmers to deliver maize to the GMB and millers to buy from the GMB under conditions which would allow the government to dictate the price of mealie-meal.

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