The government of Zambia has vowed to deal with traders who sell maize flour to Malawians, a move that will spell bad news for Malawi.
Malawi is facing acute shortage of maize and Malawians have for the past months been relying on maize flour which is imported from Zambia.
But Zambia has warned that millers who will be found selling maize to Malawi risk losing their licenses.
Authorities in Zambia say apart from confiscating the commodity, they will also seize the vehicles being used in the smuggling.
The Zambian government has justified the move saying it subsidised the maize to Zambians not Malawians.
“Those maize which are now being milled were bought by FRA (the Food Reserve Agency) as a means to be consumed by Zambians as it is a subsidised one and these chaps are smuggling into Malawi in order to make double profit,” said Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo.
He said a combined team of security and defence officers are currently patrolling the border areas in order to stop the rampant smuggling.
Recently, Zambia intercepted 28 trucks which were transporting maize to Malawi after the drivers failed to produce export permits.