Breaking

Gov't to Compensate Hoima Tobacco Farmers

The farmers have since August 2018 been demanding over two billion shillings from mainly three tobacco companies NIMATIBACK, Continental tobacco and Tropical Leaf company.

Audio 2

Government is to compensate more than 1,300 Tobacco farmers in Hoima district who were not paid by Tobacco Companies. 

This comes after President Yoweri Museveni directed the Ministries of trade and finance to expedite the compensation process for the affected farmers.   

The farmers have since August 2018 been demanding over two billion shillings from mainly three tobacco companies NIMATIBACK, Continental tobacco and Tropical Leaf company.   

Addressing the affected farmers at Bunyoro Parliamentary Building compound –Chambers on Wednesday evening, Florence Kiconco, the State House head of legal department said that the President was concerned over the failure by the tobacco companies to pay the farmers. 

She says government has decided to use its money to compensate farmers with genuine receipts and necessary documents as soon as possible and deal with the tobacco companies later. 

 //cue in:” President Yanjirangu nyije… 

 Cue out:…recoveringa sente ezi.”//.

Samuel Kisembo, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner said he has been informed that the three companies were denied licenses to contract farmers for Tobacco growing this year. 

He says government is mooting a plan to start assessing the financial capabilities of any tobacco company before it contracts farmers to ensure timely payments.   

//Cue in:”Sente Zinu Tizikuruga… 

Cue out:…Tusesure sente Zanyu.”//. 

John Kisembo, a farmer in Kigorobya says they had no hope that their money would be paid by the Tobacco companies saying he is happy now that government has come in to pay them. 

Joseph Barongo, a farmer in Kyabigambire Sub County says government should completely revoke the licenses for the companies so that other genuine companies are licensed to deal with the farmers.

In January, the Ministry of Trade halted the operations of three Tobacco Companies in Hoima district.   The companies are Continental Tobacco Company Limited, NIMA Tobacco Company Limited and Tropical Tobacco Company limited.   

They were accused of failing to pay farmers over 2 Billion shillings for tobacco they supplied between July and December 2018.   

 In a letter dated January 17th, 2019 and signed by the late Julius B Onen, the former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives, the companies were stopped from transacting any tobacco-related business in Hoima district unless they pay all the farmers.  

In the same letter, the trade ministry also issued operational licenses to four companies to transact business in the district.

They include Alliance One Uganda Tobacco Company, Global Leaf Holdings, Meridian Tobacco Company and Uganda Tobacco Service.          

Keywords