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Retailers struggling to end mealie meal queues

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) says retail shops across the country are struggling to come up with a mechanism to manage and reduce the scramble for subsidised mealie-meal.

The country is currently on a 21 day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 which has so far claimed three lives.

However, the critical shortage of basic commodities in the country, has seen residents violating the stay at home order in search of the maize staple.

The subsidised mealie meal is currently selling at ZWL$70 for a 10kg bag.

Speaking to CITE, CZR president Danford Mutashu, said retailers are facing a tough time as queues persist and they are still trying to come up with a mechanism to manage the situation.

“This is really a difficult scenario for retailers selling subsidised mealie meal because you cannot segregate that this individual has already bought mealie meal,” said Mutashu. 

“We are still trying to come up with monitoring devises or a tool to manage these ques, one way is to identify people using identification cards but that is not effective at the moment.”

Mutashu added: “We hope that we can come up with a tool because at the moment it is really difficult for us retailers. At the time we have been just trying to serve those who will be on the queue for mealie meal as this is the only way shops can identify willing customers because at the end we do not want to be labelled for segregating some customers.”

Mutashu also discouraged the habit of buying for resell.

“It is not good citizenry to chase every subsidised mealie meal queue and buy for speculative purposes while your fellow citizens struggle to access a single bag,” he said. 

Meanwhile, The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has donated 40 000 tonnes of grain to the Government as part of the efforts to minimise mealie meal queues and promoting social distancing in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

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