Bulawayo residents can expect to receive mealie-meal at their doorsteps according to a new strategy being formulated by the government.
Mealie-meal shortages have reached worrying levels across the country, as residents endure long queues to purchase the scarce commodity, despite calls for social distancing against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Long winding queues are often seen in some shops that manage to stock up mealie-meal, with residents restricted to buying only one packet.
While addressing a press conference Tuesday at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital, Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Judth Ncube said the establishment of wholesale markets has created an opportunity for public-private partnerships, which was pursued vigorously to make sure deliveries are conveniently done to the public and in decentralised facilities.
“In the same vein, we have come up with a mealie meal distribution strategy that will see mealie-meal being delivered at household level. We have selected three priority areas namely Thorngrove, Njube and Entumbane,” Ncube said.
“Thereafter the programme will be rolled out to other locations in both high and low-density suburbs we are working in conjunction with the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) for smooth execution of this strategy.”
The state minister lamented the national lockdown was not complied with as people left their homes to buy food in the Central Business District (CBD).
“You are aware that the better part of the lockdown has been characterised by large crowds of people at our markets in the and at retail outlet across Bulawayo intending to buy vegetables and mealie-meal respectively. This didn’t auger well with the guidelines of the lockdown order and definitely provided the hotbed for coronavirus to spread,” Ncube said.
Mealie-meal provision has become a challenge as reports have said some licensed retailers were taking the commodity to the black market, where it was sold in foreign currency which many cannot afford.