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Don’t exploit consumers, Wina tells millers

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina tours the Lubosi Imwiko II bridge in Mongu on Friday. PICTURE: WASAMUNU MUBITA/ ZANIS

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has urged millers not to exploit consumers despite the market being liberalised.
Mrs Wina said she expects the mealie-meal prices to reduce in Western Province with the commissioning of the Hebert Muyunda Makuyu (HMM) milling plant in Limulunga District.
“Government believes that the newly opened plant, besides the already existing millers, shall increase mealie-meal supplies which will, in the short and long run, reduce retail and wholesale prices for everyone to afford.
“I must hasten to mention that we are now in a liberalised market and millers are at liberty to offer various prices, but that does not mean they should exploit consumers,” she said.
Mrs Wina was speaking yesterday when she opened the HMM milling plant.
Mrs Wina also said Government under President Edgar Lungu has a passion for diversifying the economy by promoting investment in sectors such as agriculture.
She said this is one reason Government is supporting the initiative by HMM.
Mrs Wina also said Government will endeavour to create an enabling environment for the private sector.
She said it is gratifying that the milling plant has already created over 200 direct and indirect jobs.
“This is what we mean when we talk about employment creation, that apart from government efforts, the private sector should also participate fully in the  implementation of government policies. If we continue to create employment in the rural areas, we shall reduce the urban drift which has characterised most rural parts of our country,” she said.
Mrs Wina has called on local farmers to increase their production as there is a ready market.
Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu said the milling plant will make a positive difference in the lives of locals.
Mr Mubukwanu, however, said that most of the companies operating in the province are not paying taxes.
He called on the Zambia Revenue Authority to spread the tax net to increase revenue.
HMM Milling managing director Douglas Makuyu thanked the Patriotic Front (PF) Government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) for the support rendered during the establishment of the plant.
BRE representative Induna Imutuko said the traditional leadership will support the project to ensure it does not become a white elephant.
And Mrs Wina says the Mongu-Kalabo road is proof of many more positive things to come to Western Province.
Speaking after she took a five-minute walk on the 1km long Lubosi Imwiko II Bridge on Friday, Mrs Wina said the road makes her proud as it is a sense of achievement for the PF government.
“This state-of-the-art piece of infrastructure makes me proud and that PF has managed to put a road where other governments failed to undertake this project,” she said.
And Mrs Wina said the Sesheke, Shangombo and the Katunda-Lukulu roads are still on the priority list as they are economic roads.
She said the roads will be constructed to improve the road network in the province, which she said had lagged in development in the previous governments.
Meanwhile, Mrs Wina interacted with local traders selling merchandise on Lubosi Imwiko II bridge.
The traders, who benefited from her visit as she purchased some of the merchandise, commended her for the gesture.
Mrs Wina also visited the City of Hope Hospital site in Mongu as well as the Arthur Wina Memorial Hospital site in Nalolo district.

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