Shepherd Bushiri Investment (SBI), a Malawian company owned by flamboyant South African-based pastor Shepherd Bushiri is set to supply Zimbabwean milling companies with 250 000 tonnes of maize.
SBI has already penned a deal with the Grain Millers Association Zimbabwe (GMAZ). The development was confirmed by Bushiri’s representative Kajiya Kantumoya in a statement. He said:
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All necessary logistical arrangements are in place and grain inflows will commence next week.
Meanwhile, GMAZ spokesperson Garikai Chaunza said that the Association has secured 80 000 metric tonnes of maize despite not having letters of credit. He said:
We have just signed the deal with SBI who are one of our three grain suppliers and we hope to bring into the country 80 000 metric tonnes of maize from them.
We concluded this deal despite having failed to get letters of credit from banks.
Once again we would like to thank the government for allowing us to embark on the grain importation scheme, which we are implementing so that we complement the administration’s efforts of ensuring national food security.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a severe maize deficit that was compounded by a drought and the alleged looting of billions of dollars that was set aside for a government-sponsored agriculture programme called Command Agriculture.
Grain Millers have also been accused of smuggling mealie meal to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a charge they have vehemently denied.