BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
PARLIAMENT has launched a full-scale investigation into Premium Leaf Zimbabwe operations and the quality of its tobacco exports.
The company executives yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and Agriculture.
Members of Parliament asked the company executives to explain why the company was chased away from Malawi in 2009 during former President Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign.
Allegations are that the company connived with four tobacco companies in Malawi to sabotage the southern African nation’s economy.
“I wasn’t working for the company (at the time). However, from what I have gathered, the companies that were asked to leave Malawi were not following government directives,” Premium Leaf Tobacco managing director Grant Campbell explained.
Lands committee chairperson Justice Mayor Wadyajena said the committee needed to scrutinise the company’s documents and launch a proper investigation on the matter.
“We are going to engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and other relevant authorities first,” he said.
Premium Leaf Zimbabwe is a subsidiary of The Premium Tobacco Group, which has branches in Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.
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