President Bingu wa Mutharika, early last week, deported four tobacco buyers for allegedly conniving to sabotage the Malawi economy.
Mutharika who made a state address on Wednesday, 9 September 2009 justifying his action through the state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and Television Malawi, said the four, two from Limbe Leaf Tobacco Limited CEO Kelvin Stainton and Van de Merwe and one each from Premium TAMA Alex Mackay and Alliance One CEO Collin Armstrong were deliberately destabilising tobacco trade in the country.
Government declared that tobacco is the country's protected crop because it is the backbone of the country's economy. He said before the opening of the market, government sat down with the buyers and signed an agreement where buyers would be buying 1kg of burley tobacco at US$2.15 while flue cured tobacco at US$3.09.
“This agreement was not made arbitrary; it was a well agreed one but these buyers agreed to be stealing from poor tobacco farmers by offering them low prices while offering high prices in neighbouring countries for the same quality of tobacco,” he said.
Gregory Gondwe is a Malawian journalist who started writing in 1993. He is also a media consultant assisting several international journalists pursuing assignments in Malawi. He holds a Diploma and an Intermediate Certificate in Journalism among other media-related certificates. He can be contacted on . Follow him on Twitter at @Kalipochi.
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