TIMB in RTGS rejection storm

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board

TOBACCO farmers across the country are up in arms against Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) officials’ rejection of the local currency in the payment for the growers’ annual licence renewals.

Blessing Muzengeza of Kachuta in Guruve, Mashonaland Central province is one of the affected farmers who raised concern over the rejection of local currency by TIMB officials.

He is a communal farmer in the Kachuta area, Guruve in Mashonaland Central province who sold 2 000kg of tobacco last season.

“I was denied using local currency for the payment for the renewal of my grower’s licence last week. It happened on Wednesday at Premier Tobacco Auction Floor. I wanted to renew the licence, but a TIMB official refused my payment in local currency.

“She made it clear that TIMB was not taking local currency for such transactions,” Muzengeza told NewsDay at the weekend.

Zvenyika Tavengwa of Chemagora in Gokwe in the Midlands province about 100km from Kwekwe said he also had a similar experience.

“I was also denied the use my swipe card at TIMB office at the Tobacco Sales Floor,” Tavengwa said.

But TIMB spokesperson Chelesani Moyo denied the allegations saying all forms of payment were acceptable.

“For grower renewal, TIMB accepts all forms of payment,” Moyo said in a written response.

She could, however, not be drawn to confirm how many farmers had renewed their grower’s licences as of this month.

TIMB is the regulatory and statutory advisory board whose functions include controlling and regulating the growing, marketing and exporting of tobacco, catering for the interests of different types of tobacco growers, buyers and other stakeholders.

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