Monday, August 13, 2007
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Monday August 13, 2007 [04:00]
COUNCILLORS in Chipata have passed a vote of no confidence in the Tobacco Association of Zambia (TAZ). The councillors observed that the association did not benefit tobacco farmers in the district hence the need for it to stop operating in the area.
The council resolved to do away with TAZ at a full council meeting held last Friday.
The council resolved to do away with the association following farmers' complaints that the association was not performing to their expectation.
In an interview after the meeting Chipata mayor Sinoya Mwale said the council had resolved to do away with TAZ because it was not benefiting the farmers.
"TAZ is there to help the farmers but if farmers are complaining over its performance what can we do, so we have resolved to do away with TAZ with immediate effect," Mwale said.
He said the council would inform the Tobacco Board of Zambia TBZ about its decision next week.
"People want a local association and not TAZ that is based in Lusaka , after finishing the matter with TAZ a local association will be entrusted to run the marketing of tobacco,"Mwale said.
Recently former Chipangali member of parliament Lucas Phiri said farmers in the province were not happy with the coming of TAZ.
"I feel the coming of TAZ has no blessing from the farmers. How do you expect an association that is based in Lusaka to run tobacco market in Eastern Province? Remember they have no bank accounts in Chipata," Phiri said.
He appealed to the government to give its clear position on TAZ.
"Farmers have complained over TAZ and the complaint has been heard now government should explain the reason why they engaged TAZ instead of our local associations. People in Chanje area have made it clear that they don't want TAZ,"he said.