The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) have introduced a zonal distribution system for the supply of subsidized maize mealie meal. This comes as the 21-day national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus has largely been disrupted by long winding queues of desperate Zimbabweans seeking to buy the country’s staple at affordable prices.

The subsidized maize meal is currently retailing for $80 for a 10-kilogram packet. On the black market, however, the same packet goes for three times the price. Due to the scarcity and demand of the subsidized maize roller meal, this has largely resulted in citizens ignoring the calls for social distancing.

However, the new zonal maize mealie meal zonal distribution system has been introduced to ensure compliance of the national lockdown regulations by. The new zonal distribution system which starts on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. will see maize meal being delivered to all residential shops in selected urban areas.

The new system aims to minimize people travelling to and congregating in central business districts to buy the staple. Under the system, all shops would be allowed to open and sell the subsidized mealie meal in order to enhance the principle of social distancing.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police have also been roped in to ensure that the is orderliness in the distribution and sale of the subsidized mealie meal. Speaking on the issue last week, GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara said,

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has agreed to be members of GMAZ nationwide supplying maize meal using a zonal system in the main seven hotspots namely Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo, Marondera, Kwekwe, Gweru and Chitungwiza,” he said.

“This arrangement will provide for more shops to receive and sell maize-meal so that consumers buy the product in their respective areas of residence. The police will provide the necessary passage and will deploy details to oversee the delivery and selling of the maize-meal.”