Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) chairperson Patrick Devenish has assured stakeholders that the organisation will continue to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism amid allegations of corruption and maladministration levelled against its employees.

In a statement yesterday, Devenish said TIMB was aware of the allegations of corruption and maladministration made against the regulator’s employees.

Said Devenish: “The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board values the trust and confidence that its stakeholders and the public have in its mandate and functions. As such, TIMB wishes to assure its stakeholders that it will continue to uphold the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and service delivery in the tobacco industry.”

He said TIMB took the allegations seriously and did not condone any form of corruption or abuse of office.

“The board has a zero corruption tolerance policy and a code of conduct that all its employees and board members are expected to adhere to,” he said.

Devenish said TIMB was working with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and Zimbabwe Republic Police to expose corruption at the organisation.

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“The board is working with the Auditor-General’s Office to ensure transparency and accountability in its operations. While the board is actively working to address malpractices and corruption within the industry there has been a noticeable increase in the dissemination of negative information with the intention to influence public or stakeholder opinion,” he said.

He added that TIMB would continue to work tirelessly to promote the growth and development of the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe.

The call by TIMB to fight malpractices comes as the parastatals has been accused of sweeping under the carpet allegations of sexual harassment involving a senior executive.

It also comes as Zimbabwe is revelling after a stellar marketing season with a record high output of the golden leaf, one of the country’s top foreign currency earners. 

Farmers delivered a record 294 million kilogrammes of the golden leaf. Before the haul, 2019’s output of 261 million kilogrammes was the highest output.