Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo has directed his Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Songowayo Zyambo to immediately start the process of reviewing the laws governing the Tobacco sector to bring harmony to the industry.
Mr. Katambo says he has observed with dismay a lot of disharmony in the Tobacco industry among various players, mainly the small-scale and large-scale farmers, tobacco buyers and the Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ), caused by the laws, which are archaic.
He told NAIS in Lusaka, that the Tobacco Act and the Tobacco Levy Act CAP 237 and 238 of the laws of Zambia will quickly be reviewed and repealed to come up with laws that suit the current times.
Mr. Katambo has directed Mr. Zyambo to immediately embark on a process of reviewing Statutory Instruments 67, 84 and 85 in full consultation with all stakeholders as he is in the process of putting in place the appropriate Board of Directors for TBZ.
He said the disharmony has potential of destroying the tobacco industry, which took many years to develop, as some farmers have already opted out of tobacco production, while others are on the verge of stopping.
The Minister has further directed the Tobacco buyers who collected the Tobacco Levy on behalf of government in the 2017/2018 marketing season to remit the Levy with immediate effect.