STEVEN MVULA, Itezhi tezhi
PRESIDENT Lungu says Cabinet will soon refine the theory of the market, which determines the price of maize.
“We want farmers to bargain with buyers and then Government to strike the balance. We cannot sit in Lusaka and determine the price of a commodity we never cultivated,” he said.
He was speaking yesterday during a meeting with chiefs Kaingu and Shimbizi of the Ila people of Itezhi tezhi.
The head of State was responding to concerns raised by the two chiefs on setting of the floor price of maize.
President Lungu said maize has become a ‘political crop’ and so Government wants the market to regulate itself and determine the price.
“Every farmer must have a vague idea of producing a bag of maize. It’s not only the Food Reserve Agency that can buy maize but breweries, millers and so on can also buy,” he said.
He said the best person to determine the price of fish is the one who goes to the river to fish, just like the one who picks mushroom from the bush is rightly placed to determine the price of the commodity they labour for.
“It’s a tough decision we made but we need to change how we do business so that farmers can benefit,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu has asked chiefs to speak to their subjects to stop engaging in acts of vandalism.
“We are all your children, talk to us. Let us protect our property so that our children will find a legacy in future,” he said.
President Lungu also told the chiefs that he wants to work with opposition members of Parliament to develop the country.
“Opposition MPs must work with us even if they dispute my elections, I am still President until the next election,” he said.
He said ordinary people are suffering while the MPs are earning allowances from Parliament.
Chief Kaingu presented a myriad of issues to the President ranging from dilapidated palaces to lack of communication towers.
President Lungu assured the traditional leaders that Government will look into the issues.