Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hand confiscated maize to DRC govt, orders Rupiah

Hand confiscated maize to DRC govt, orders Rupiah
Written by Mutuna Chanda in Kitwe
Sunday, March 22, 2009 6:32:24 PM

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has directed that the over 744,400 metric tonnes of maize recently confiscated from trucks destined for the DRC be handed over to that government, Copperbelt permanent secretary Villie Lombanya has disclosed.

The Zambian government recently impounded more than 40 trucks carrying maize allegedly from Tanzania and destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on suspicion that the maize was bought in Zambia.

The Zambian government imposed a ban on exports of maize.

In an interview after handing over the maize to DRC Minister of Interior and Traditional Affairs Jean Marie Dikanga Kazadi yesterday, Lombanya said the decision was made following the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) on security between DRC and Zambia in Lubumbashi a few days ago.

He said it was decided that it was better to hand over the maize to the DRC government instead of the businessmen from whom the maize was confiscated.

Lombanya said documentary evidence suggested that the businessmen flouted the law in importing the maize.

He explained that the lesson from the entire episode was for the DRC government to tell its citizens to follow the law when engaging in business in Zambia.

He said Kazadi pledged that DRC entrepreneurs would follow the laws of Zambia whenever engaging in business.

Lombanya explained that recently, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed that the maize be offloaded while the trucks on which the commodity was loaded be released.

The maize was being kept at Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Chambishi depot.

The DRC government was due to start hauling the maize yesterday.

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