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FAILED TSHISEKEDI RESORTS TO MALICE: Katumbi Did Not Influence Anyone To Stop Exporting Maize To Congo – Zambian Officials

Zambian officials have dispelled reports that leading opposition leader Moise Katumbi influenced the neighboring country to stop supplying maize so as to create despondent and sabotage the economy as a way of inciting the population ahead of the December 20, 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections.

President Felix Tshisekedi’s Chief Government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya and Finance Minister Nicholas Kazadi went on television accusing Katumbi, leader of the Ensemble pour le Republique (Together for the Republic) had used his connections to Zambia to sabotage the economy in the Democratic Republic of Congo as he had blocked the exportation of maize and mealie meal prompting protests especially in Grand Katanga.

But Zambian political analysts Joseph Kapasa says statements by President Hakainde Hichilema, Zambian finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane and agriculture minister Reuben Mtolo Phiri have colloborated information demonstrating that the maize and mealie meal situation in Zambia and DRC had nothing to do with Katumbi.

“It’s something malicious coming from the DRC that Katumbi would stop the importation of maize or mealie meal into their own country looking at the fact the exportation of maize in Zambia was banned, but this ban was lifted and it’s now free to export into any country as well neigboring countries,” he said.

Kapasa says the exportation of maize from Zambia is regulated by the government and not political players in other countries.

Recently, President Hakainde Hichilema was captured in a leaked audio expressing displeasure that Zambia was exporting maize to DRC through Kipushi and other porous borders without taking into consideration the demand of the local market.

And Phiri also said the crisis in Zambia of the maize and mealie meal had been created by the shortage of the commodity in neigbouring countries who were all relying on Zambia for the supply.

On April 11, 2023, Zambia’s finance minister Dr. Musokotwane signed a Statutory Instrument to suspend duty on maize and maize flour (commonly known as mealie meal) so as to minimize the cost of the product in the country.

In their political failure, President Tshisekedi and his officials have been going round the country claiming the shortage of the commodity here is because of Katumbi.

Muyaya told journalists in Congo earlier this week that some people in the DRC with connections in Zambia had caused a mealie meal crisis for political reasons.

“It turns out that unfortunately the maize flour crisis was caused by a few obviously ill-intentioned individuals who, with some connections in Zambia, got Zambia to decide to no longer sell maize to the Democratic Republic of Congo, its direct neighbor,” he declared .

Finance minister Kazadi also repeated the same sentiments while featuring on television in an interview.

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