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Hoima Farmers Conned UGX 9 million in Fake Tobacco Growing Deal

The farmers were conned by a group disguising itself as a team from Neutral Tobacco Company, a new entity that had gone to the area to register farmers. Each of the farmers was required to pay a registration fee of 30,000 Shillings, in expectation of a startup of 500,000 Shillings from the company.

Audio 4

More than 300 Tobacco Farmers in Kyabigambire Sub County, Hoima district have been conned of nine million Shillings in a new Tobacco deal.

The farmers were conned by a group disguising itself as a team from Neutral Tobacco Company, a new entity that had gone to the area to register farmers. Each of the farmers was required to pay a registration fee of 30,000 Shillings, in expectation of a startup of 500,000 Shillings from the company.

John Aganyira, one of the farmers who was duped, says that to their shock, the said Company officials disappeared after the exercise and their contacts have been off ever since.

//cue in; “Twagenda Nyakaihura hali…

Cue out…Batugarulire sente Zaitu."//

Kyabigambire LCV Councilor Swaibu Nyangabyaki says the company conducted the exercise without the consent of the Sub County and district officials.

Cue in; “conmen came to…

Cue out…amount of money."//

Hoima District Commercial Officer John Asiimwe says his office and the Hoima district security committee have started investigations into the matter. He hastens to add that Neutral Tobacco Company is not registered with the Ministry of Trade and unknown to players in the tobacco industry.

//cue in; "I am not aware…

Cue out…I can say."//

Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC Samuel Kisembo confirms the report but warned farmers against dealing with mysterious groups.

//cue in; "stop Using wrong…

Cue out…in Hoima district."//

On January 17, 2019, the Ministry of Trade halted the operations of three Tobacco Companies in Hoima district after they allegedly failed to pay farmers over two billion shillings for the Tobacco they supplied in 2018. The companies are Tropical Tobacco Company, Continental Tobacco Company Limited and NIMA Tobacco Company Limited.

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