October 18, 2016
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Dr Charles Tizeba has overhauled the entire board and top management of the Tanzania Cashewnut Board, appointing new members.
The minister's decision followed a directive by the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, who directed him to change the board and its management to improve efficiency. Speaking at a public rally in Lindi yesterday, Mr Majaliwa said a similar exercise will be conducted throughout all agribusiness centered boards.
These include cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal and tea. At the Sokoine Grounds in Nachingwea District, Lindi Region, the prime minister expressed concern that the cashewnut board had abandoned its legitimate duties and concentrated on auctions where it prohibited some groups of people from buying the crop contrary to the binding laws.
According to the prime minister, the cashewnut board suspended an auction in Lindi last Friday simply because buyers had not submitted their sales bond. This is despite the government's order that no trader shall be allowed to buy cashewnut without paying 25 per cent of the entire deal.
The government's decision was issued since last April but the board and management had not put the order into action. "In Mtwara, they bought the products without a sale bond. However, it couldn't work in Lindi ... this is double standard," Mr Majaliwa pointed out.
"You did not allow the one who won the auction to proceed buying the product since you had your own buyer. I will deal with you," the prime minister stressed.Dr Tizeba pointed out that when the government issues a directive, it must be implemented accordingly. "The Member of Parliament has lodged concerns against the board. We have issued directives but they are not implemented.
The board has not visited villages to even offer public awareness knowledge on the entire business," he remarked. He, however, urged the board not to force farmers to open bank accounts to receive their payments.
"Farmers must be educated on why they need a bank account ... I heard your pushing them to open account with an average balance of 100,000/-."
Addressing a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Dr Tizeba said he had appointed Mr Hassan Mohammed Jarufu as the Acting Director General of the cashewnut board to replace Mr Mfaume Mohammed. He had also appointed Mr Ray Mtangi as Acting Marketing Director, a position that was earlier being held by Mr Juma Yusuph.
As per the Cashewnut Industry Act 2009, the minister further appointed CBT board members consistimg of members representing large-scale cashewnut processors and two members representing cashewnut farmers.
Others are one member representing small-scale cashewnut processors, one member representing the ministry, one member representing cashewnut researchers; and two members who possess experience and knowledge in the industry.
They are Ms Faith Mitambo, Mr Mshamu Mahundila, Mr Edgar Maokola Majogo, Professor Peter Massawe, Ms Belinda Kessy, Professor Marcellina Chijoriga and Professor Wakuzu Magigi.
The board shall consist of the chairman, to be appointed by the president upon the minister's advice. Currently, the cashewnut board's chairperson is Ms Anna Abdallah.
"I am leaving this position to the appointing authority as stated by the law," he said. In another development, Dr Tizeba has reinstated the Director General of the Tanzania Cotton Board Director General, Mr Marco Mtunga.
"I have decided to reinstate him after our investigations cleared him of any wrongdoing in the alleged misappropriation of 2.4bn/- that were to be paid to farmers following the 2008 world economic crunch," added the minister.