Police to escort mealie meal delivery trucks amid stampede, looting fears
By Staff Reporter
MEALIE-MEAL delivery trucks will this week deliver the scarce staple to different parts of the country under police escort amid fears of stampedes among starving citizens.
In a joint statement Monday, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) said deliveries will commence this week.
“In response to the ongoing Covid-19 induced national lockdown recently declared by His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, and to ensure social distancing for public safety in the fight against the coronavirus, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) in partnership with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) will this week be distributing subsidised Roller Meal to all the formal retail shops in the following cities and towns; Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Chitungwiza, Kwekwe and Marondera.
“We urge the public not to do panic buying and assure continuous supply of mealie meal in their local formal retail outlets during this difficult period,” said the organisations.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a deepening economic crisis that has been worsened by an unprecedented 21-day business break sure to further wreak a fragile economy.
Authorities are keen to see citizens observe the social distancing requirement encouraged by health authorities as one of the measures to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.
As shortages persist, hard-pressed locals have failed to maintain the recommended distances as they often find themselves scramble to buy basic commodities.
Zimbabwe has an additional fear desperate citizens could pounce on delivery trucks and loot the scarce staple.
The country has experienced food riots before with citizens helping themselves on commodities.