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Hoima Leaders to Institute Committee to Verify Tobacco Farmers

Last year, President Yoweri Museveni promised to Compensate more than 1,300 tobacco farmers after the tobacco buying companies failed to meet their contractual obligation to pay them.
Tobacco growing.
Hoima District local government has been tasked to immediately set up a committee to verify tobacco farmers who are claiming compensation from the government.

Last year, President Yoweri Museveni promised to compensate more than 1,300 tobacco farmers after the tobacco buying companies failed to meet their contractual obligation to pay them.   

The President 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.   

Kadir Kirungi, the Hoima LCV Chairperson says that the president has instructed the district leaders to form a verification committee and start verifying the farmers before 25th March 2020. 

He says the verification exercise that kicks off very soon will be carried out at different tobacco market stores.    

“Indeed, we have just got a communication from State House instructing us to immediately set up a verification committee to verify the affected farmers as soon as possible, ”Kadir said. 

Kadir, however, cautioned against forgery during the exercise adding that there are reports that some tobacco companies are issuing out fake receipts to none farmers to claim compensation.   

Godfrey Komakech, the secretary for production and marketing at Hoima district local government urged farmers to prepare their documentary evidence in the form of receipts which he said are primary proof for compensation.  

“Strictly those with genuine receipts will be allowed to be verified during the exercise. I, therefore, call upon all the affected farmers to come along with their genuine documents during the verification exercise,” said Komakech. 

In January 2019, 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.       

    

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