TIMB accuses tobacco company of non-payment of carriers

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BY NHAU MANGIRAZI

The Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) has threatened to deregister tobacco companies that waive payment for services rendered.

TIMB Managing Director Meanwell Gudu said this while answering questions about the current standoff between Voedsel Tobacco Company and carriers over non-payment for services.

The company has changed its focus on paying carriers who transported tobacco from farmers to the company during this year’s sales season which began in March.

“Our call to transporters and farmers is to report non-payment issues on time during the season so that TIMB can intervene effectively and take mitigating action for all concerned,” Gudu said.

“It’s more efficient during the sales season because the business may be suspended from selling. “

Gudu said TIMB has since stepped in to ensure that the 15 carriers who owed more than US $ 60,000 were paid.

More and more carriers are now coming out openly claiming that they were not paid by Voedsel.

The President of the Union of Tobacco Producers, Believe Tevera, implored the TIMB to “write off” Voedsel for not paying the carriers.

“TIMB must revoke Voedsel’s license as it has proven beyond any doubt that it is unable to contract farmers and make payments on time,” Tevera said.

“Tobacco is a cash crop and a seasonal one. We expect payments to be made urgently. We cannot allow a company to continue to outsource farmers in Zimbabwe when it is obvious they cannot pay, which puts the lives of over a thousand farmers and transporters at risk. including those who depend directly or indirectly on them.

Mashonaland Central Tobacco Producers and Transporters Union President Stayme Manyika said many transporters and farmers were not paid by Voedsel.

“We have a few carriers who are also tobacco producers, but were not paid a single penny by Voedsel,” Manyika said.

“They are unhappy that the company did not pay them on time. The carriers need help because the company has not paid despite several promises.

Affected farmers began transporting tobacco in April.

They come from Mount Darwin, Dotito, Guruve, Chakoma, and Mvurwi, among others. Carriers from Hurungwe, Mvurwi and Rusape, among others, demonstrated on Monday and watched over the company’s Karoi depot.

Voedsel chief executive Innocent Mahufe promised last Monday to settle the debt.

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