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ZAM calls for tough border controls

ZAMBIA Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) has called on Government to strengthen border controls to fight smuggling of edible oils into the country.
ZAM executive director Maybin Nsupila said local edible oil manufacturers face challenges in staying in business because of smuggling.
Mr Nsupila said in an interview recently that edible oil is being smuggled into Zambia in large quantities, a situation which is disadvantaging local producers and robbing Government the much-needed revenue.
“The oil is smuggled in a very sophisticated manner and lands on the market very cheaply, thereby making local manufacturers run at a loss, because buyers will always prefer to buy something cheaper,” he said.
He urged Government to consider coming up with a licencing system for companies that intend to import edible oil so that traders can be easily detected.
“If this system is effected, records of those who have been licenced to import will be in place and will be easily detected if any foul play is suspected,” he said.
Mr Nsupila welcomed the recent decision by Government to lift the ban on the importation of edible oils, saying complete ban disadvantage consumers as the commodity would be expensive.
He, however, said the importation of edible oil should be limited because the Kwacha is losing value against the United States dollar.
“Quantities must be limited when importation of such commodities is lifted because we are struggling with foreign exchange,” Mr Nsupila said.