Tobacco contractor suspended for shortchanging farmers

The Chronicle

CONTRACTING firm Vision Leaf Tobacco has been suspended following discovery of irregularities in its operations, including defrauding growers.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board licensed 32 contracting companies to operate this tobacco selling season.

In a memo to Vision Leaf Tobacco management seen by New Ziana, the TIMB said the suspension was necessitated by an assessment which discovered some anomalies in the contractor’s operations.

“Consequently, the TIMB has suspended your contract sales with immediate effect and you are directed to stop conducting sales and resumption will be determined by your remedying of the above issues,” the industry regulator said.

TIMB public affairs officer Chelesani Tsarwe said Vision Leaf Tobacco had been suspended for violating the Contractors’ Compliance Administration Framework.

“This includes altering Goods Received Vouchers (GRVs), non-disclosure and or absence of prices of inputs issued to farmers and underfunding only to charge abnormally high mark-up rates for inputs, is a way through which contractors defraud the tobacco grower.

“The welfare of the grower is at the epicentre of TIMB’s operations and this season we will not allow the grower to be victimised. We have a tough stance against non-compliance to industry regulations, short-changing tobacco growers and other actions that destabilise the tobacco industry,” she said.

-New Ziana

Article Source: The Chronicle

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