BULAWAYO, Tuesday, April 21, 1992 — A Cabinet Minister yesterday instructed authorities at the National Railways of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo to give priority to wagons carrying maize at all its shunting yards throughout the country to avoid delays in maize distribution to the Grain Marketing Board depots and then to millers.
During what he described as a decongestion exercise at the Mpopoma marshaling yards here, the Minister of Labour, Manpower Planning and Social Welfare, Cde John Nkomo, said he had to intervene after receiving reports that wagons full of maize from South Africa were taking long parked at the yards before being shunted to the GMB depot in Bulawayo.
“The NRZ is under standing orders that as soon as maize arrives the wagons should be shunted to GMB without delay. There is no need for wagons to stay for hours or days before they are hauled to the GMB,” said Cde Nkomo during an inspection tour of the NRZ’s Mpopoma marshaling yards, the GMB and the three milling companies in Bulawayo, supervising the movement of maize, grinding and delivery of mealiemeal to shops.
“There is no congestion now. Maize is coming on a daily basis and lorries are busy taking the maize to millers for grinding,” he said.
Between Saturday and Monday, 69 wagons full of maize and rice arrived at the GMB depot in Bulawayo and more maize was expected today.
“Government is determined to correct this whole situation. That is why I am here coordinating the quick movement of maize to the millers and mealiemeal deliveries to the consumers,” said Cde Nkomo.
Authorities at two leading milling companies here told the minister, Cde Nkomo, during his tour that they were happy with the maize allocation which they said was now coming in constant supplies. Meanwhile, despite the improvement in maize allocation to millers, long queues are still the order of the day in most of Bulawayo’s high density suburbs.