Authorities at Nakonde border in Muchinga Province have intercepted and impounded three trucks carrying over 1000 x 50 kg bags of maize about to be smuggled to Kenya.
Muchinga Provincial Agricultural Coordinator (PACO), Victor Mulopa, who had travelled to Nakonde on fact finding mission, said one truck was intercepted by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and two by the department of agriculture in the border town.
Dr Mulopa said initial investigations have indicated that the three consignments, which were about to be illegally exported, had fake documents from Serenje and Isoka districts.
He added that the transporters had papers showing an internal transfer of maize from a satellite depot to the holding depot and not for export.
The PACO said the government has centralized the export of maize so as to monitor what is going out, adding that since the documents accompanying the intercepted and seized maize indicate that the papers were not obtained from Lusaka, this is evidence enough that the commodity was about to be illegally exported.
According to the latest export of maize and mealie meal procedures, a person exporting the commodity should collect application forms from the department of Agribusiness and Marketing at the headquarters in Lusaka.
The exporter should also obtain a phyto-sanitary certificate from Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) headquarters at Mount Makulu.
Dr Mulopa warned that the law will deal firmly with whoever shall be found wanting and his directed his officers manning border posts to ensure no grain goes out of the country without proper documentation.
Dr Mulopa also disclosed that a docket has since been opened and is hopeful that the matter will be investigated to the positive conclusion.
The three trucks are currently parked at Nakonde police station