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HomeNewsTobacco Firms Sub-Sahara, Voedsel Snub Parliamentary Inquiry

Tobacco Firms Sub-Sahara, Voedsel Snub Parliamentary Inquiry

Controversial tobacco companies Sub Sahara and Voedsel snubbed the Justice Mayor Wadyajena led Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement with the former citing that they are attending a tobacco expo in Bulgaria.

By Elia Ntali and Munashe Chokodza

The companies were expected to appear before the committee to give oral evidence on their preparedness for the 2022 tobacco marketing season.

Farmers and service providers have accused the companies of not paying them for the past season prompting Parliament to summon them. The companies were issued with operating licences by the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB).

In a letter to the Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda, Sub Sahara Tobacco requested details of the alleged unpaid farmers and service providers.

“Reference is made to your letter dated 5 May 2022 inviting us for a meeting with the Port t oho Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Settlement. We have noted the agenda of the meeting and in order for us to respond to the enquiry as requested we kindly ask you to provide the details of the farmers, transporters and service providers that allege we have not paid them so that we verify and reconcile with our records.

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“We further kindly ask you for the rescheduling of our engagement with yourselves as we are also scheduled to be part of the exhibitors at the World Tobacco Expo in Bulgaria. We will be leaving on the 9th May 2022 for stand construction and the expo will run from 18th May to 19th May 2022.

“From 20th May 2022 to 06th June 2022 we will he having met-ting with clients and following up on potential clients from the exhibition. We shall be departing Bulgaria on 7th June 2022 and will arrive back in the country on 8th June 2022. With your indulgence, we will be available any date from the 10th June 2022 for the meeting with the Committee,” read the letter signed by managing director and operation director.

Wadyajena blasted the companies and threatened cancellation of their licences should they fail to attend Parliament on May 24 2022.

“We find this behaviour unbecoming, they say they (Voedsel) are busy at the floors, Sub Sahara indicated this morning that they can’t come because they are busy. I am sure that we had indicated that Parliament takes precedence over anything else except when you are called by the President apart from the Parliament takes precedence. These companies are playing games, they must avail themselves here next week on Tuesday 24 May failure to do that you must cancel their licences,” Wadyajena told TIMB CEO Meanwell Gudu.

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