The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board is stepping up its fight against side marketing, exposing a list of illegal buyers of the golden lead.
The unscrupulous buyers are said to be prejudicing both farmers and authorities of millions of dollars.
In a statement released over the weekend, TIMB advised stakeholders that all sales of tobacco should be conducted through licensed auction floors and registered contractors.
The list released by TIMB had 35 names of illegal buyers.
TIMB spokesperson Celesani Moyo told ZTN this was meant to discourage illegal dealings in the sector.
“The aim of the exercise is to discourage repeat offending and deter would-be illegal buyers and sellers; so far 35 illegal buyers of tobacco have been convicted and fined…” she said.
Since tobacco auction floors opened on April 7th, 2021, these people were duping unsuspecting farmers and buying the golden leaf at below-market rates, she added.
Moyo warned farmers that they risk getting their licenses revoked if caught selling the golden to unregistered buyers.
“Registered growers will have their registration canceled in line with section 32 of the tobacco industry and marketing Act [chapter 18:20], we are encouraging all tobacco growers to sell their tobacco through licensed floors and registered contractors,” she said.