New GMAZ exec to tackle maize imports

Business Reporter
THE new Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe executive to be elected soon is expected to tackle matters relating to the importation of maize to mitigate the impact of drought that Zimbabwe is facing, a senior official of the association has said.

GMAZ will hold elections for new executives for northern and southern regions executives ahead of its annual general meetings scheduled for April.

The association’s vice president Mr Thembinkosi Ndlovu said the new executive, which will be in office for three years has its work cut out as it will focus on the logistics for the urgent importation of maize from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa in order to help Government alleviate food shortages due to the drought the country is going through.

“This will include coordinating all key logistics services providers such the ports, rail companies, customs clearance and statutory bodies,” Mr Ndlovu said yesterday.

GMAZ is the umbrella body for millers in the country. A local audit company has been appointed to co-ordinate and supervise the elections.

“The elections for northern and southern regions executive, serve to strengthen internal democracy and enhance representation of all millers in their varied operations and locations.

“The 2016 elections will see the addition of three committees namely the Grains Technical Committee, Economics and Ethics Committee and the Human Resource and Remuneration Committee. All registered and paid up members will have the right to vote and be voted in terms of the constitution,” Mr Ndlovu said.

The new executive comes in at a time when Zimbabwe faces falling levels of production due to drought.

The low yield has forced Zimbabwe to import grain from private players in neighbouring countries, mainly South Africa and Zambia.

Early this month Zambian suppliers hiked grain prices taking advantage of the neighbouring country’s ban on grain exports. Zambia last season recorded a surplus but suspended exports while determining the extent of the country’s food requirements.

GMAZ said Government should expedite issuance of permits to allow importers to procure grain from South America.

Mr Ndlovu said the new GMAZ executive is expected to attend to such challenges.

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