• Bags of mealie meal produced by the two companies were found to be underweight.
• Nyimba Millers Limited to withdraw their non-compliant 5 Kg, 10 Kg, and 12.5 Kg Breakfast Mealie Meal bags and the 25 Kg Roller Meal from the market.
• African Milling Limited to withdraw its 25 Kg Breakfast Mealie Meal from the market
Zambia Metrology Agency (ZMA) reveals it has penalized Nyimba Millers Limited and African Milling in line with the provisions of the Metrology Act No. 6 of 2017 after bags of mealie meal produced by the two companies were found to be underweight, contrary to the requirements of the Metrology Act.
ZMA Public Relations Officer Chola Chilumba tells Money FM News that the Agency has also directed Nyimba Millers Limited to withdraw their non-compliant 5 Kg, 10 Kg, and 12.5 Kg Breakfast Mealie Meal bags and the 25 Kg Roller Meal from the market.
Mr. Chilumba notes the Agency has directed African Milling Limited to withdraw its 25 Kg Breakfast Mealie Meal from the market and has also instructed the two companies to desist from trading in the packaging sizes that are currently under contention.
He said this directive shall remain in force until necessary remedial actions are undertaken by the two companies and verified by the Agency.
Mr. Chilumba stated that following a video circulation which went viral on social media on 24th June 2022, in which a consumer complained about alleged underweight bags of mealie meal produced by Nyimba Milling Limited, ZMA commenced investigations into the matter on 25th June 2022.
He said the investigations were undertaken by the Agency in line with its mandate as outlined in the Metrology Act No.6 of No. 2017 further disclosing that that the Agency also received a second complaint from a consumer regarding underweight mealie meal produced by African Milling Limited.
Mr. Chilumba narrated that in the first instance, ZMA conducted inspections of mealie meal products at Nyimba Millers Limited and African Milling Limited processing plants in Lusaka of which the bags of mealie meal at the two processing plants were found to be compliant with the Metrology Act No. 6 of 2017, as regards net content and weight.
He furthermore indicated that between 26th June and 1st July 2022, the Agency undertook market surveillance inspections at various retail outlets around Lusaka, explain that Lusaka was targeted on account of it being the biggest market for these companies.
According to him, the bags of mealie meal produced by Nyimba Millers Limited were found to be underweight, contrary to the requirements of the Metrology Act.
“The affected packaging sizes were 5 Kg, 10 Kg and 12.5 Kg Breakfast Mealie Meal. The 5 Kg bags weighed 4.81 Kg, whilst the 10 Kg bags weighed between 9.64 Kg and 9.8 Kg,” he disclosed.
“The weights recorded for the 12.5 Kg bags were between 11.7 Kg and 12.05Kg. The 25 Kg bags of Nyimba Roller Meal were also found to be underweight with weights ranging between 24.45 Kg and 24.60 Kg,” he revealed further.
The ZMA Public Relations Officer pointed out that during the same market surveillance inspections, the Agency found that the 25 Kg bags of Breakfast Mealie Meal produced by African Milling Limited were similarly underweight.
“In this case, a 25 Kg bag was found to weigh between 21.59 Kg and 23.64 Kg,” he noted
Mr. Chilumba said the Agency as such urged manufacturers, importers, packers and distributors of various pre-packaged commodities to comply with all laid-down metrology requirements.
He noted that the public is encouraged to continue reporting all suspected measurement-related non-compliances to the Zambia Metrology Agency.
“The Zambia Metrology Agency would like to assure the nation that it remains committed to enhancing its consumer protection role so that customers get ‘value for their money’!”
He explained that this shall be achieved through intensified inspections of both locally produced and imported pre-packaged commodities across the country.