The Herald reports that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya has said that the wheat supply situation in the country was under control despite reports that six millers had suspended operations due to shortages.
The Herald states Mangudya said the situation was “under control” as the central bank had put in place measures to ensure uninterrupted supplies of “essential imports. In a memo the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said RBZ failed to release $12,5 million for importation of wheat resulting in depletion of stocks.
The millers said as of Tuesday this week, available national stocks had dropped to about 28 000 tonnes, against a minimum three-month stock requirement of 114 000 tonnes. Zimbabwe requires 40 000 tonnes of wheat per month to produce 1,3 million loaves of bread per day. In a letter to GMAZ, international supplier, Holbud said they can only release the wheat they have when RBZ pays them the USD$12 million for maize supplied in 2016. Said Holbud:
RBZ/GMB has an outstanding payment to us of $12,242,026 for maize supplied in 2016, the payment for which was promised in June 2017 but yet to be received. We had been promised several times but till to date, payments have not been received, making our position with our bankers very bad even though we were the only company to fulfil the commitment by bringing around 300 000 tonnes during the drought period.