Sata fears food riots over high prices

2013-01-08 08:38

Lusaka - Zambia's president Michael Sata warned on Monday that high food prices could spark riots, which toppled a previous government, as he put pressure on millers to keep prices down.

Speaking before meeting millers, who have been selling mealie meal at steep prices, Sata said the nation's founding president Kenneth Kaunda lost power in 1991 over food riots.

"If you don't protect the people, I am going to protect them myself. When people rioted during Kenneth Kaunda's time, it's the food riots ...that caused him to be removed from power. I don't want food riots," Sata said.

Prices for staple food mealie meal rose sharply last December, from 45 kwacha ($8.50) up to 80 kwacha ($15) per bag of 25kg in outlets in the capital Lusaka.

Most of the impoverished southern African nation's people cannot afford the increase.

Millers have argued that the high cost of maize from the government reserves, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), sparked the price hike.

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2013-01-08 09:17

    Is the ANC taking heed? Farmers should be treated as royal game and not like they are currently treated. Farmers are price takers and not price makers. Just check how much the farmer is paid and how much the consumer pays in the supermarket. Tony Ehrenreich, Marius Fransman and Nosy Pieterse should be charged with sabotage and subversion for the chaos they are causing. Tina Joemat-Peterson should be fired immediately for her incompetence in handling the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries. The South African spring is coming nearer!

      Brian Dorning - 2013-01-08 09:45

      Take note SA! land redistribution will lead to less food being produced as farms are given to clueless people and inevitably fail. Less supply = price increase!!! Also, if you want farm laborers to earn more, then be prepared to pay more for your food!

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2013-01-08 10:17

    JIPPIE!!!!!!! I am rich!!!!.......according to the exchange rate the reporter used. I still have a couple of millions of Kwachas somewhere in a box. Please take note that the exchange rare is more like 5200 to 1.(in favor of dollars.(lol.)

      alister.duminy - 2013-01-08 11:00

      The Zambian kwacha was rebased on 1 January 2013 and the effect was to divide the currency by 1000. So ZMK5 200 becomes ZMW5.2 and a 25kg bag of meal for 80K = US$15.38.

      alister.duminy - 2013-01-08 11:03

      And the millions of kwacha in your box can be exchanged for the new currency at a Zambian bank until 31 December 2014.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2013-01-08 11:13

      Wait a bit. If this is true I will have plenty money.....Then again mine is dating back from the 1998. There will be a way they will damper my now found happiness. lol.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2013-01-08 11:20

      @alister. Just done the sum.(if the rates did not ate it) I will be the "proud" owner of K 2500.00 or +- USD 470.00(with out exchange cost) Ai! Will rather give it to my friends on their next holiday.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2013-01-08 11:21

      If the "RATS" did not ate it...sorry!

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