By HELLEN TEMBO - Government has impounded nine trucks carrying more than 5,000 bags of maize believed to be on the verge of being smuggled out of the country. The trucks were stopped at various border points last week and have been parked at the Zambia National Service (ZNS) yard in Chamba Valley in Lusaka. Taskforce against maize smuggling chairperson, Stardy Mwale said the trucks were carrying 5,750 bags of maize. Mr Mwale, who is Lusaka Province Permanent secretary, suspected that the commodity was destined for Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and other neighbouring countries. He said this when he inspected the impounded trucks at ZNS in Chamba Valley yesterday. “We as the taskforce against smuggling are working so hard to make sure we catch those trying to smuggle maize because food security is our first priority as Patriotic Front Government,” Mr Mwale said. He said the trucks would be forfeited to the State. Three of the impounded trucks carried subsidised maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), while the other trucks were carrying maize harvested from the last farming season. Mr Mwale appealed to Zambians to be patriotic and not entertain smuggling of the staple food. “We are trying to set an example to those who would be found wanting and for those who are planning to smuggle that they should learn from this. We are not sleeping,” he said. Mr Mwale said once the smugglers were apprehended, their trucks would be impounded, and the owners of the trucks would lose out on an income.